Thursday, May 29, 2014
Book Review: A Circle of Wives by Alice LaPlante
Author: Alice LaPlante
Enjoyment Rating: ***
Content alert: Some talk about child sex abuse, but I don't remember anything else, not even a sex scene, which surprises me in a book about a guy with a whole bunch of wives.
Palo Alto doesn't see many murders. Detective Samantha Adams is far more accustomed to looking into bike theft than solving violent crimes. But there's the dead body of John Taylor, a renowned plastic surgeon, on the floor of his room at the Westin, and everyone's conception of the do-gooder surgeon, who takes on difficult cases with disfigured children, changes abruptly when it's revealed that his widow, Deborah, is really only one of three women who called John their husband (not to mention the one who called him her fiance). But which one killed him?
I loved Alice LaPlante's novel, Turn of Mind, when I read it a few years ago, so I was eager to get my hands on this story too. I think Circle of Wives works well as an exploration into the characters of Adams and the three wives, but as a murder mystery it fell a little flat. I read the story on my kindle and couldn't believe that the end was actually the end of the story-- it felt like there were lots of loose ends that weren't tied up, and there wasn't much resolution with Adams, the PoV character for much of the novel.