Adrian Wolfe is a happy and lucky man. He runs a successful architectural practice. He’s been married three times; he gets on well with his ex-wives and they like each other, as do the five children of the two marriages. Every year the whole clan meet up for a holiday, just one big happy family. But are they? Within the first few pages of the book Maya, the eponymous third wife, is killed and Adrian’s perfect life starts to unravel. Accident or suicide? Was Maya happy to be the third Mrs Wolfe? Did the rest of the family like her as much as they appeared to do? Suddenly, her death seems more mysterious than it did at first and family secrets start to come out.
This is cunningly written. At first Adrian seems likeable, then you start to think, ‘What a selfish man!’ He’d expected everyone to be happy, just because he was. But it turns out that they weren’t. I was intrigued by the mystery and amused by some of the social comment. For example: the second wife’s new boyfriend turned out (to be) a purveyor of organic mushrooms and truffles, making him possibly the most Islington person in the borough of Islington. Lisa Jewell is a popular novelist, yet this was the first of her books I’d read. I thought the ending was a slight cop-out (no spoiler) but enjoyed the book enough that I’ll be looking out for more by this author.
The Third Wife will be published on 3rd July and I read it courtesy of NetGalley.