Kate White | The Fiancee

The Book: 

The Fiancee by Kate White
Published July 20th 2021 by Atria Books
Date read: July 3, 2021

The Characters: 

Summer and Gabe
Nick and Hannah

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Buy it on Bookshop.org | Amazon

The Plot (from Goodreads):

Summer’s looking forward to a break from hustling for acting work in Manhattan when she, her husband Gabe, and Gabe’s nine-year-old son arrive at the annual family get-together at her in-laws’ sprawling estate. On the agenda are leisurely gourmet meals, tennis matches, and plenty of relaxation by the pool.

But this year, Gabe’s brother Nick has invited his new flame Hannah, whom Summer immediately recognizes from a few years before. Oddly, her brother-in-law’s girlfriend claims not to know her. Yet she charms the other family members, and after Nick announces that he’s proposed to Hannah, Summer doesn’t have much choice but to grin and bear it.

Then the reunion is rocked by tragedy when a family member is found dead. Though the doctors attribute the loss to natural causes, a grieving Summer fears that the too-good-to-be-true Hannah is involved, even as Gabe dismisses her suspicions.

How far will Summer go to expose the truth? As she investigates just what Nick’s fiancée might have done to keep her perfect image intact, she begins to fear that the first death might only be the beginning.

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

The Twist: 

Wendy was the murderer. She’d had an affair, and Claire knew and demanded she tell Blake. Wendy realized the money and lifestyle would come to an end, and began killing people who knew. She meant to kill Hannah, not Jillian.

The Ending:

Wendy is arrested, Hannah and Nick break off their engagement, and Ash plans to sell the house. Summer is planning to get pregnant.

The Review: 

Thank you, Harper Perennial for a physical copy of this book, and to Harper Audio for the audio version!

I really enjoyed this (mostly) closed-room domestic thriller. Our main character, Summer, is instantly suspicious of her brother-in-law’s new girlfriend when Hannah when she lies about having worked with Summer in the past. When someone is found murdered at a family reunion, the newcomer has to be the culprit…right?

I love the locked room theme because you know you’re being thrown red herrings, and it’s a fun treasure hunt to try to figure out what’s actually going on. I thought this one was especially well done. There were a lot of characters to get straight, but once you sort out the who’s who the rest of the story flies by. I was glad I had a physical copy to be able to refer back to identify characters–it can get confusing when you’re introduced to a whole host of characters all at once on audio.

I enjoyed Cindy Kay as the narrator–this was a great book to listen to on audio!

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