THE POCKET WIFE by Susan Crawford

Publisher: William Morrow
Released: March 17, 2015
Source: Review copy from the publisher
Rating: ★★★½

A stylish psychological thriller with the compelling intrigue of The Silent Wife and Turn of Mind and the white-knuckle pacing of Before I Go to Sleep—in which a woman suffering from bipolar disorder cannot remember if she murdered her friend.

Dana Catrell is shocked when her neighbor Celia is brutally murdered. To Dana’s horror, she was the last person to see Celia alive. Suffering from mania, the result of her bipolar disorder, she has troubling holes in her memory, including what happened on the afternoon of Celia’s death.

Her husband’s odd behavior and the probing of Detective Jack Moss create further complications as she searches for answers. The closer she comes to piecing together the shards of her broken memory, the more Dana falls apart. Is there a murderer lurking inside her . . . or is there one out there in the shadows of reality, waiting to strike again?

A story of marriage, murder, and madness, The Pocket Wife explores the world through the foggy lens of a woman on the edge.

I’m left with mixed feelings after finishing THE POCKET WIFE, though overall it was good. This is Susan Crawford’s debut novel, and it’s about a woman with bipolar disorder who may or may not have murdered her neighbor. Dana Catrell was the last person to see Celia alive, and too much alcohol combined with lack of meds has wiped Dana’s mind of the whole terrible situation.

The book started off strong, and Dana was an intriguing unreliable narrator. It was difficult to tell for her and for the reader whether her memories were fact or invented. The author did a great job putting readers inside Dana’s mind so they could experience her confusion and frustration too. After a while though, the plot lost the suspense and started to ramble. I’m on the fence over the conclusion of the murder mystery. It was a stretch, though it still worked.

I listened to parts of this book on audio. It was narrated by one of my favorite performers, Cassandra Campbell. Of course, she was wonderful.

Disclosure: I received a copy of this book from the publisher through Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.