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The Loving Husband by Christobel Kent

The Loving Husband

by Christobel Kent

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Here are the reasons why I didn't like this book: (1) It's by a British author (close-minded of me, I know) which means the language and style are different, and the author uses British colloquialisms with which I'm not familiar, interrupting the flow of the story while I try to figure out what she's talking about; (2) the main character, Fran, often speaks in stuttering, halting, fragmented sentences which was extremely irritating - could you just finish a thought, girl?; (3) there's not a single likable person in the book - oh, wait, maybe baby Ben who is not yet speaking; and (4) the book was much too long only to arrive at an ending that was unsatisfactorily wrapped up in just a few pages. ( )
1 vote flourgirl49 | Nov 19, 2017 |
I found the characters in this story to be neither likeable nor credible; the plotting seemed to lack any convincing coherence; there were frequent and irritating time-shifts and, to cap it all, it has a title which is certainly not descriptive of the relationship between Fran and her murdered husband Nathan! Once I had finished this book I found myself wondering why on earth I had wasted so much precious reading time hoping that it would improve! I did find that the descriptions of the Fen-land landscape were evocatively convincing, and there were moments when a build-up of tension made me believe that the story would live up to the promises on the cover of the book. However, these moments were never sustained and, by the end, I really couldn’t have cared less about what the outcome was for any of the characters – except perhaps the two children, who were constantly being palmed off on a neighbour! A real disappointment. ( )
  linda.a. | Sep 27, 2017 |
Waking up in the early hours a February morning as her baby needs feeding, Fran discovers her husband is not laid beside her and a few minutes later she discovers his murdered body outside their fenland farmhouse. The local police are cynical and Fran is too stunned to think rationally but as the fog clears and Fran starts to put the pieces together she realises that her marriage was not what she thought it was and her husband had secrets as well as herself.

Having read Kent's first novel 'Crooked House' I awaited her second to see if she had built on that excellent foundation, however I found 'The Loving Husband' hard to get into at first. This is mainly due to the fact that I found Fran an extremely unlikable character, I was not sympathetic to her and that made much of the premise of the book hard to access. I suspect this is not what the author wanted but it added another dimension to the story as I did get into the book, whilst Nathan had secrets so Fran was not exactly the naive innocent wife, she had engineered their marriage. What is brilliant here, though, is Kent's way of setting a story in a specific location and making that location almost like another character. The bleakness and isolation felt by Fran echoes the bleakness and isolation of the Fens in February, and the local characters seemed bedded in the location and contrasted with Fran's London life well. Kent is developing into an intriguing and clever writer. ( )
  pluckedhighbrow | Jun 26, 2017 |
I found this story scattered and contained far too many characters. At times I had no idea what was going on because of the style of writing. This is the first Christobel Kent book I have read. I could not muster up any feelings for Fran and found the police loathsome except for Ali - who tried her best. Over all it seemed to lack focus and the ending was a disappointment. I will try some of her other books though. ( )
  clamato | May 2, 2017 |
When I read the blurbs for this book, I was like, sign me up. When I started reading it, I was hooked. However, somewhere in there it just kind of slowed down for me. The momentum just kind of tanked. Characters were just coming out of the woodwork. It's like they were just being added to make the suspect list longer.

And personally, I think that Fran was an eejit to move out there like that in the first place. They had to jump on that deal right then or lose it? There were several places for sell and had been for sell. No, that all smelled like rotten fish from the beginning. I just couldn't really believe the moving part to way out in the sticks from London. I guess that was my biggest concern and didn't help me with the momentum.

As for being compared to "The Silent Wife" - absolutely no way. That book had me so emotional. I wanted to drop kick several of those characters. IMO, if a book can get me that riled up - it's a good book. Plus I LOVED that ending. This book, not so much.

Thanks to Farrar, Straus & Giroux for approving my request and to Net Galley for providing me with a free e-galley in exchange for an honest review. ( )
  debkrenzer | Feb 19, 2017 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0751562394, Paperback)

Can you ever truly know the one you love? Fran Hall and her husband Nathan live in a farmhouse on the edge of the Fens with their two children. One February night, when Fran is woken by her baby, she finds the bed empty beside her and Nathan gone. Searching the house for him she makes a devastating discovery. As Fran finds herself under intense police scrutiny, she and her two small children become more isolated as she starts to doubt whether or not she really knew Nathan. Was he really the loving husband that Fran had trusted him to be? As police suspicion grows the questions for Fran begin to mount. Is there something that she is hiding from them - something that she has kept hidden from everyone, including her husband? From the author of The Crooked House comes another stunning psychological thriller about family, secrets and the lies we tell ourselves. For fans of Gillian Flynn and SJ Watson, The Loving Husband draws readers into a marriage where nothing is as it seems.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 09 Jun 2016 18:11:10 -0400)

" A taut and absorbing thriller about a murdered husband who may not have been so loving after all. Fran Hall and her husband, Nathan, live in a run-down farmhouse on the edge of the Fens, where they recently moved from London with their two young children. One February night, Fran awakes to an empty bed and goes searching for her husband. She finds Nathan behind their house, lying facedown in a ditch. The ensuing police investigation soon singles Fran out as the primary suspect, and suspicions mount on the force that she may be hiding something that gives her a motive for murder. But Fran isn't the only one with something to hide; as her isolation and paranoia increase, the claustrophobic town where her mysterious husband grew up begins to disgorge its secrets, and it becomes increasingly clear that Nathan wasn't very honest with her about who he was. As police scrutiny intensifies, Fran must delve deep into her husband's shadowy past in the hopes of clearing her name, and she doesn't much like what she finds. In The Loving Husband, Christobel Kent, the author of The Crooked House, delivers another darkly atmospheric psychological thriller about family, secrets, and the lies we tell ourselves. Reminiscent of the work of Daphne du Maurier and S. J. Watson, The Loving Husband's twisty, suspenseful plot draws readers into a fascinating portrait of a very, very complicated marriage"-- "A psychological thriller about a woman who, after her husband's murder, discovers that he may not have been who he seemed"--… (more)

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