Book Review: The Pocket Wife by: Susan Crawford

Publisher: William Morrow

Publication Date: March 17, 2015

Origins:  From Publisher for Review

Synopsis: An amazing talent makes her debut with this 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 during a breakdown.

Dana Catrell is horrified to learn she was the last person to see her neighbor Celia alive. Suffering from a devastating mania, a result of her bipolar disorder, Dana finds that there are troubling holes in her memory, including what happened on the afternoon of Celia's death. As evidence starts to point in her direction, Dana struggles to clear her name before her own demons win out.

Is murder on her mind - or is it all in her head?

The closer she comes to piecing together 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.

Review: Dana Catrell has struggled with bipolar disorder since college. Her son is grown, away at college, and her relationship with her husband has changed…and not for the better. Her husband, Peter, treats her as if she isn’t important and can be tucked away in a pocket to deal with later. When her neighbor, Celia, is found murdered, Dana realizes she was the last to see her alive and because she’s swinging up into a manic period, her memory of that night is fractured at best. Dana’s impending descent into madness has her unraveling at the seams and she can’t trust anyone – not even herself. Detective Jack Moss is in charge of the murder investigation and he comes with his own baggage which could affect this case. However, as he searches for the truth he may be the only lifeline Dana Catrell has in this world.

THE POCKET WIFE is a mystery which hinges on the hazy recollections of a woman who isn’t sure if there is a monster within her or one waiting and watching in the shadows. It’s obvious to anyone who has bipolar disorder that Dana doesn’t take care of herself and spends too much time self-medicating which results in the wild swings which take her from the heights of mania to the depths of depression. This doesn’t lend well to her being a reliable witness, let alone a reliable person overall. As Dana desperately tries to reconcile the truth with the fiction her mind has created, she may just run out of time. THE POCKET WIFE is an engaging mystery with robust characters and a good twist at the end.

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