BEA'S BOOK NOOK "I can't imagine a man really enjoying a book and reading it only once." C. S. Lewis “If one cannot enjoy reading a book over and over again, there is no use in reading it at all.” ― Oscar Wilde

Thursday, August 8, 2019

Release Day Review: The Third Mrs. Durst by Ann Aguirre

Publisher: Midnight Ink
Source: the publisher in exchange for an honest review
Release Date: August 8th, 2019
Buying Links: Amazon* | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | IndieBoundKobo |
* affiliate links; the blog receives a small commission from purchases made through these links.

Blurb from goodreads:

Some people just need killing.
Marlena Altizer Durst lives in her husband’s shadow. He controls her every move—what she wears, the food she eats, and the friends she’s allowed to make. If she disobeys, there are… consequences. And he has all the power, so nobody would believe her.

Her Cinderella story has been well-documented and it seems that she leads a fairy-tale life. But nobody ever wonders if Cinderella was happy after she married the prince. Marlena has traded freedom and safety for luxurious imprisonment, and most days, that seems like a bad bargain. Death may be the only exit she’s allowed. Just like his first wife. And his second.

Unless she flips the script.

And gets away with murder…

My Thoughts:

What to say about this story? Well, first of all, the cover and title caught my eye. Then I read the blurb, and I was intrigued. I was delighted when the publisher approved my request for an egalley. I admit, I'm a sucker for stories where the woman is wronged but fights back. And I did get that. Sort of.

Now, "The Third Mrs. Durst" is not an original story; it's been done many times before. And some of the twists, weren't. But. Marlena is an unreliable narrator, an enthralling storyteller, and a master manipulator, and that gives us surprises along the way. She's maybe not quite as wronged as she seems initially. We don't get any perspective except Marlena's and I wish we'd gotten her husband's. We don't really get to know him well. He's sadistic, cruel, manipulative, and petty but he's also cardboard, with little depth. He's the reason for the story but we get little insight into him. Now, that said, Aguirre slowly peels back layers and adds more detail as events unfold. There's a few too many coincidences and still a few loose threads at the end but I was never bored. In fact, I started the book late at night and ended up reading straight through till I finished around 4AM.

I mentioned that Marlena is an unreliable narrator. She has an agenda and we only think we know what it is. She keeps secrets very, very well. She's patient, motivated, and ruthless. Not unlike her husband Michael. Just when I thought I knew what was happening and why, we'd learn something new. The truth was an object and an idea that kept moving and changing. Motivations were malleable as were facts. I needed a score card to keep up.

"The Third Mrs. Durst" was twisty, emotional, too coincidental at times,a  mix of predictable and surprising, and utterly engaging. I couldn't put it down until I finished. I had to know what was going on and what would happen. 

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