The psychological thriller, “The Wife and the Widow,” by Christian White, is a murder mystery full of twists and family drama. We first meet the widow, Kate Kellie, as she waits at the Melbourne International Airport with her daughter Mia.
Mother and daughter are waiting for Kate’s husband John to return from a 2-week trip to London for a palliative care research conference. John is not on the plane so Kate calls John’s employer, Trinity Health Centre, only to discover he was let go from the company three months earlier.
As Kate and Fisher, her father-in-law, contact the police and try to figure out what happened, Kate gets a call from a security company that someone is in their holiday house on Belport Island, a tourist destination. Fisher and Kate head to the island to look for John and discover that he has been murdered. As Kate digs into the murder she learns about John’s secrets.
Next we meet the wife, Abby Gilpin. She and her family live on Belport Island. Abby works part time at the local grocery store and her husband Ray owns a caretaking business maintaining tourist homes. When Abby is picking up the trashcans, she finds some of Ray’s work clothes and hides them in the garage by her taxidermy tools.
Abby learns from her best friend and local cop Bobbi that there has been a murder at the docks, the local gay meeting place. Abby’s world is turned upside down when she confronts her husband.
“The Wife and the Widow” is narrated by the two women in alternating chapters, and nothing is at it seems. Just when you think you have it all figured out, the author throws in a twist. Readers eventually learn that there were two dead bodies found in the same location 23 years apart. Slowly the author connects the characters. The novel shows just how far a parent will go to protect their children.