Book Review / Disha Bose / Reviews with Spoilers

Disha Bose | Dirty Laundry

The Book: 

Dirty Laundry by Disha Bose
Published April 4, 2023 by Ballantine Books
Date read: April 13, 2023

The Characters: 

Ciara and Jerry
Lauren and Sean
Mishta and Parth

Buy it on | Amazon

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The Plot (from Goodreads):

A twisty, domestic suspense debut about a clique of mothers that shatters when one of their own is murdered, bringing chaos to their curated lives.

She was the perfect wife, with the perfect life. You would kill to have it…

Ciara Dunphy has it all–a loving husband, well-behaved children, and a beautiful home. Her circle of friends in their small Irish village go to her for tips about mothering, style, and influencer success–a picture-perfect life is easy money on Instagram. But behind the filters, reality is less polished.

Enter Mishti Guha: Ciara’s best friend. Ciara welcomed Mishti into her inner circle for being… unlike the other mothers in the group. But, discontent in a marriage arranged for her through her parents back in Calcutta, Mishti now raises her young daughter in a country that is too cold, among the children of her new friends who look nothing like her. She just wants what Ciara has–the ease with which she moves through the world–and in that sense, Mishti might be exactly like the other mothers.

And there’s earth mother Lauren Doyle, born, bred, and the butt of jokes in their village. With her disheveled partner and children who run naked in the yard, they’re mostly a happy lot, though unsurprisingly ostracized for being the singular dysfunction in Ciara’s immaculate world. When Lauren finds an unlikely ally in Mishti, she decides that her days of ridicule are over.

Then Ciara is found murdered in her own pristine home, and the house of cards she’d worked so hard to build comes crumbling down. Everyone seems to have something to gain from Ciara’s death, so if they don’t want the blame, it may be the perfect time to air their enemies’ dirty laundry.

In this dazzling debut novel, Disha Bose revolutionizes age-old ideas of love and deceit. What ensues is the delicious unspooling of a group of women desperate to preserve themselves.

How did Dirty Laundry end?

Click here for book spoilers for Dirty Laundry
Book spoilers ahead–if you haven’t yet read Dirty Laundry, I suggest you turn back now.

The Reveal:

Lauren found Ciara dead in her house at the beginning of the book, and left the body there because she couldn’t be the one who found her. The rest of the book was flashbacks to lead up to who was responsible and why.

Sean was the one ultimately responsible for Ciara’s death, but every single character traipsed in and out of the house that night. 

Parth had prescribed Ciara some illicit sleeping pills, which she took too many of along with some wine for a druggy night in. The big reveal with Parth was that he had a foot fetish and that one of his college students was sending him hundreds of pictures of her feet. Mishta found out by finally looking through Parth’s phone. She assumed they were Ciara’s feet.

After Ciara had taken the pills and wine, Sean showed up. She was going up to bed and he charged at her, without touching her, to get her to fall down the stairs. She wasn’t quite dead.

Next Parth came by, hoping for sex since his college student wasn’t answering the phone. He found Ciara in a heap but didn’t go too close. He poured out the wine and took the pills, knowing that he’d be held accountable for giving her the prescription when she wasn’t his patient.

Next was Mishta. She had heard Parth leave bed and assumed he was going to Ciara’s. She found Ciara nearly dead and somewhat helped her along. Mishta also found the prescription in Parth’s handwriting, which she took to blackmail him into buying her trips home to India.

Jerry saw everything that happened on the security cameras. He didn’t care because he had just found out about the affairs. He deleted the footage (prematurely?) assuming the police would rule it an accident.

Then Lauren found the body in the morning, as mentioned at the beginning of the book. 

The Ending:

That was the whole story. No fallout, no investigation, nothing. She died and the book ended.

The Review: 

Thank you to @prhaudio for this complimentary ALC in exchange for an honest review.

I wouldn’t call Dirty Laundry twisty or suspenseful. It was a slow domestic drama that happened to include a questionable death. The reader learns of the questionable death up front, and the rest of the book is meant to be spent uncovering who the killer was. However, nothing happened for the middle 50% (or more) between the discovery of the body and the reveal. Just a lot of catty back-and-forth between some mommies that disliked each other for seemingly no reason and a bunch of cheating and wishing for divorce. Honestly, it made me sad. I was listening with my fiance on a road trip, and he even said “Is this what we have to look forward to?” I normally like mommy dramas, but this one was just depressing.

I’m also confused by the first line of the Goodreads description: “A twisty, domestic suspense debut about a clique of mothers that shatters when one of their own is murdered, bringing chaos to their curated lives.” We already talked about the genre, but the death is also the end of the story. We don’t see any of the “chaos” brought into their lives, no police investigation, nor any fallout of the death at all.

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