Candles are lit and their rich vanilla scent twists its way through the cabin. The table is set for a romantic anniversary dinner with fresh roses dropping crimson petals on crisp white linen. But the woman seated at the table is cold to the touch, and there’s blood trickling down her neck…
When Denton’s most loved TV presenter returns home to find his wife dead at the dining table, it shatters the close-knit community. Beautiful and absolutely besotted with each other, Beau and Claudia Collins were idolized for being the perfect couple. But the devastating scene Detective Josie Quinn finds in their remote hideaway has her asking what dark secrets lurk beneath the surface of this seemingly flawless marriage?
Beau is grief-stricken by the loss of his kind-hearted wife who gave so much to others as a therapist, but Josie needs to know the significance of the small wooden puzzle box found clutched in Claudia’s hand. A prop in a popular game Beau played with his viewers to test the strength of their relationships, is it a twisted calling card, or a challenge from the killer?
The broken body of one of Beau and Claudia’s assistants is found the next day, a matching little box left in the dirt beside her. It’s clear that if Beau doesn’t start telling the truth about the flaws in his marriage, those dearest to him will die.
Caught in a cat and mouse chase with disturbing revelations and a mounting body count at every turn, Josie and her team work night and day to keep Beau’s loved ones safe. What kind of calculating monster would do this? A faded newspaper article about a tragic accident is the break Josie desperately needs. But she may already be too late, an innocent child is in danger…
An absolutely gripping rollercoaster of a crime thriller from an Amazon, USA Today and Wall Street Journal bestselling author. Guaranteed to have you sleeping with the lights on and shouting from the rooftops about the twists, it’s perfect for fans of Angela Marsons, Robert Dugoni and Rachel Caine.
If y’all have read along with my blog for a hot minute, you know I love love love Lisa Regan’s Josie Quinn books. (You can see all the posts where I run my mouth about Josie here.) That trend continues with The Innocent Wife, the sixteenth in the series.
Beau and Claudia Collins are well-known in Denton as the marriage advice gurus. They’ve got a popular TV show, they run a counseling practice, they’ve written books, and the face they present to the public is that of an adoring couple. Beau arrives home expecting that he and his wife will be celebrating their anniversary for the camera and for their adoring fans. Instead, he finds Claudia dead, the murder scene artfully staged, a puzzle box like the one Beau uses with clients in her hand.
Josie, Noah, and the team have their hands full with this one! The killer always seems to be one jump ahead, anticipating their efforts to trap him (or her?). The body count is rising, and everything they think of to pin down the killer, he easily sidesteps. That contributes significantly to the tension in the story.
Every story gives us a little insight into Josie’s past. In this one, we get to meet Luke, her ex. He and his dog are able to help with the investigation, and even though Josie is a little uncomfortable with it, she knows his skills are needed. I’m interested to find out if we see more of Luke in future books.
As with all of Regan’s books, there are suspects aplenty. Beau and Claudia’s marriage wasn’t as picture-perfect as the image they presented, and Beau wasn’t exactly a faithful husband. (Kind of makes you wonder why he wasn’t the one who ended up dead, with Claudia the prime suspect!) Were the murders motivated by jealousy? Greed? Trying to keep a secret safe? Regan does a fantastic job of keepingi the reader guessing and then unraveling the knot she’s created to reveal the killer’s identity and motive.
My one gripe is with the police questioning Beau when he was obviously drunk as Cooter Brown. In a former life, I was a prosecutor. If I’d gone to court with the testimony of a witness who may or may not have had full command of his mental faculties, the defense would have had a field day with it. Josie and Noah are experienced enough that they should know better. So, half a star off for that. Still four and a half, and that rounds up to five!
All in all, The Innocent Wife is another gripping suspense tale from the pen of Lisa Regan, and she remains firmly on my list of must-read authors. Go back to the start of the series and get to know Josie. You’ll be glad you did!
About the author:
Lisa Regan is the USA Today and Wall Street Journal bestselling author of the Detective Josie Quinn series. Lisa is a member of Sisters In Crime, International Thriller Writers, and Mystery Writers of America. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in English and Master of Education Degree from Bloomsburg University. She lives near Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in the U.S. with her husband, daughter, and Boston Terrier named Mr. Phillip. Find out more at her website: www.lisaregan.com