Title: The Dead Ex by Jane Corry
Publisher: Pamela Dorman Books
Genre: Contemporary, Mystery, Suspense
Length: 368 pages
Book Rating: B+
Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through Edelweiss
One man’s disappearance throws four women’s lives into chaos–who will survive?
Vicki works as an aromatherapist, healing her clients out of her home studio with her special blends of essential oils. She’s just finishing a session when the police arrive on her doorstep–her ex-husband David has gone missing. Vicki insists she last saw him years ago when they divorced, but the police clearly don’t believe her. And her memory’s hardly reliable–what if she did have something to do with it?
Meanwhile, Scarlet and her mother Zelda are down on their luck, and at eight years old, Scarlet’s not old enough to know that the “game” her mother forces her to play is really just a twisted name for dealing drugs. Soon, Zelda is caught, and Scarlet is forced into years of foster care–an experience that will shape the rest of her life . . .
David’s new wife, Tanya, is the one who reported him missing, but what really happened on the night of David’s disappearance? And how can Vicki prove her innocence, when she’s not even sure of it herself? The answer lies in the connection among these four women–and the one person they can’t escape.
The Dead Ex by Jane Corry is an absolutely spellbinding, suspenseful mystery.
Vicki Goudman is currently living along the coast in Penzance where she is getting her aromatherapy business off the ground. However, her quiet life is completely upended when Detective Inspector Gareth Vine and Sergeant Sarah Brown stop by and begin questioning her about her ex-husband, David. They have reason to believe Vicki might be involved in his perplexing disappearance two weeks earlier. Vicki, whose epilepsy sometimes leaves holes in her memory, is emphatic as she denies having seen him since their divorce several years earlier. Will Vicki’s story hold up under police scrutiny?
Now in her mid forties, Vicki’s life took a drastic turn following her marriage and divorce. She was blindsided and devastated by David’s announcement he was in love with his assistant Tanya and wanted a divorce. Despite his callous treatment of her, Vicki still pines for him and she is edging up to stalking him with phone calls and revisiting places where they spent time together. She is very concerned about David’s disappearance and she does herself no favors DI Pine with her evasive answers to his questions. Vicki is also less than forthcoming with her lawyer until her situation turns dire and she has no choice but to reveal the truth about her life before and after she married David.
A secondary story arc follows the poignant plight of eight year old Scarlet Darling and her mother Zelda. Scarlet’s story begins in 2007 with Zelda manipulating her daughter into participating in very nefarious schemes. After Zelda is arrested, Scarlet is taken into care where her first placement proves to be quite damaging to the vulnerable young girl. Her next set of foster parents are absolutely wonderful but Scarlet’s life-long loyalty to Zelda blinds her to truth about her mother’s true nature.
A third story line introduces Helen Evans into the mix as she worms her way into David Goudman’s orbit in the months preceding his disappearance. She obviously has an agenda as she hooks David then gradually begins reeling him in. But what possible reason could Helen have for inserting herself into his life? Is she somehow involved in what happened to David?
The Dead Ex is an engrossing mystery with a well-executed storyline. Curiosity about how these three very divergent story arcs intersect keep the pages turning at a furious clip. Jane Corry does an absolutely brilliant job keeping readers wondering how these seemingly unconnected women are linked with the events playing out in the present. With stunning twists and jaw-dropping turns, this clever mystery comes to an very thrilling conclusion. I highly recommend this suspenseful tale to fans of the genre.
One Response to Review: The Dead Ex by Jane Corry
Sounds interesting. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on it Kathy