Murder and Mystery in Suburban Sydney

Australian author, Liane Moriarty has a knack for throwing the reader an irresistible hook at the very beginning of her books and then parallelling the intersecting stories of three interesting women. If that sounds formullistic, there’s nothing predictable about these stories. The characters, including supporting characters are well developed, and the hooks are fresh. In Moriarty’s latest novel, Big Little Lies the reader learns that it’s parents’ night at the local elementary school, bad behavior has taken place, and one of the parents is dead. Who is the victim and who is the suspect? Could it be Madeleine, suburban every-mom who is currently preoccupied with her teenage daughter wanting to live with the girl’s father and his new wife? Could it be Jane who is new in town and being shunned by by other parents, while her son is accused of bullying other children? Or could it be beautiful Celeste who seems to have the perfect, comfortable life, but has a dark secret?

In The Husband’s Secret, published in 2013, Cecelia accidentally knocks over a shoe box of her husband’s in the attic and finds a sealed letter addressed to her to open on the event of his death.  Her husband is traveling on business and when they speak on the phone, she mentions the letter, and his reaction makes her uneasy. Meanwhile, Tess is dealing with the bomb dropped by her husband and her cousin/best friend: they are in love. Rachel who’s suffered a series of losses, the worst being the murder of her 17-year-old daughter, learns that her son and his wife are relocating to New York with her beloved grandson for two years. The contents of Cecelia’s letter will affect them all.

The first Moriarty book I read was Big Little Lies, and I devoured The Husband’s Secret soon after. If you’re like me, you’ll look forward to her other reputed page-turners:

The Hypnotist’s Love Story

Three Wishes

The Last Anniversary

What Alice Forgot

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