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‘Til Death Do They Part: 7 Twisted Marriage Thrillers

Alice Martin is a PhD candidate in English Literature at Rutgers University, where she obsesses over nineteenth-century women writers, the history of the publishing industry, and writing practices. She’s also a regular contributor to Shelf Awareness and a freelance writer and editor. Her writing has appeared in The Carolina Quarterly, Appalachian Heritage, and Sixfold among other publications. You can find her talking about books, food, and basketball (in that order) on Twitter @AliceJeanMartin.

Sex, lies, and betrayal: these seven marriage-based thrillers offer these three things and much more as their characters love, rage, and combust around one another. Defined by fast-paced, pulse-pounding plots, these stories are sure to seduce, unsettle, and disturb. And while we hope not all marriages end in disaster, we also can’t get enough of the intricately plotted, hairpin turns that define the marriages and novels below. Get ready for some delicious mysteries and unpredictable twists.


Mine
by Courtney Cole

Tessa is shocked and horrified to find nude photos of a twenty-six-year-old named Lindsey on her husband’s iPad. With her husband out of town, Tessa is determined to confront Lindsey, even if it means being stuck in the same house with her during a record-breaking storm that torments Florida. But once Lindsey and Tessa—both intelligent, ruthless, and desperate—come face-to-face, Tessa realizes she may have met her match.

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Mine
Courtney Cole

Tessa was prepared for the hurricane. Lindsey was the storm she didn’t see coming.

When Tessa Taylor unlocked her husband Ethan’s iPad to discover nude photos from a twenty-six-year-old bombshell named Lindsey, her seemingly perfect life came to a screeching halt.

With a hurricane barreling toward Florida and Ethan stuck on a business trip, Tessa finds herself imprisoned in her own home with a choice to make: Does she ride out the storm until she can confront Ethan in person, or does she take matters into her own hands?

Increasingly restless and desperate for revenge, Tessa resolves to act. And when she lures Lindsey over a few hours later, there’s no turning back.

What ensues is a battle of wills between two well-matched opponents, blinded by love for the same man but driven by demons of their own. Like storm-ravaged Florida, neither woman will be the same when the skies clear.

He’s mine. Both wife and mistress would stake their lives on it. But only one of them can be right.

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MENTIONED IN:

‘Til Death Do They Part: 7 Twisted Marriage Thrillers

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Man of the Year
by Caroline Louise Walker

Dr. Robert Hart seems to have it all: a successful career, a beautiful wife, and a responsible son. But one summer, when Robert allows his son’s friend Nick to stay in his guesthouse, he begins to unravel. Nick is a young alpha-male who seems to be getting too close to Robert’s wife, and Robert is not afraid to lie and manipulate everyone around him to reestablish his dominance of his home, his wife, and his superiority.

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Man of the Year
Caroline Louise Walker

Beware the Man of the Year. You may praise him, resent him, even want to be him: but beneath the elegant trappings that define him, danger looms. Caroline Louise Walker’s stunning debut novel, for fans of Herman Koch’s The Dinner and Shari Lapena’s The Couple Next Door, delves into the increasingly paranoid mind of a man whose life as the most upstanding of citizens hides a relentlessly dark heart.

Dr. Robert Hart, Sag Harbor’s just-named Man of the Year, is the envy of his friends and neighbors. His medical practice is thriving. He has a beautiful old house and a beautiful new wife and a beautiful boat docked in the village marina. Even his wayward son, Jonah, is back on track, doing well at school, finally worthy of his father’s attentions. So when Jonah’s troubled college roommate, Nick, needs a place to stay for the summer, Hart and his wife generously offer him their guest house. A win-win: Jonah will have someone to hang with, and his father can bask in the warm glow of his own generosity.

But when he begins to notice his new houseguest getting a little too close to his wife, the good doctor’s veneer begins to crack. All the little lies Robert tells—harmless falsehoods meant to protect everything he holds dear—begin to mount. Before long, he’s embroiled in a desperate downward spiral, destroying the lives that stand in his way. It’s only the women in his life—his devoted office manager, his friends, his wife—who can clearly see the truth.

Biting and timely, Man of the Year races along at an electric pace, with a wicked twist that you won’t see coming.

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Lying in Wait
by Liz Nugent

From bestselling author Liz Nugent comes a sinister slow burn about a woman who will go to devastating ends to keep her darkest secrets hidden. Lydia Fitzsimons believes everything in her life is finally perfect with her husband’s career a success and her loving son almost grown. But when her son discovers the lingering traces of a secret she’s tried to keep buried, she must take drastic measures to keep what’s important to her safe.

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Lying in Wait
Liz Nugent

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The Third Wife
by Lisa Jewell

Before her bestselling book THEN SHE WAS GONE (2017), Lisa Jewell’s THE THIRD WIFE displayed her intricate plotting and startling emotional insights. Adrian Wolfe is devastated when his third wife, Maya, steps in front of a moving bus and is killed. As he looks back over their marriage, he must reinvestigate their life together and all the people—his two previous wives and five children included—who had something to gain from Maya’s death.

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The Third Wife
Lisa Jewell

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The Wives
by Tarryn Fisher

Thursday’s husband has two other wives. She knows this arrangement is odd, but she agreed out of mutual love and trust. But when clues to his real life begin to surface, Thursday finds herself thrown into a dangerous and twisted reality that only slightly resembles the life she thought she led. THE WIVES is a fast-paced nail-biter with unpredictable twists from the New York Times bestselling author Tarryn Fisher.

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The Wives
Tarryn Fisher

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MENTIONED IN:

‘Til Death Do They Part: 7 Twisted Marriage Thrillers

By Alice Martin | March 4, 2020

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Verity
by Colleen Hoover

Lowen, a struggling writer, reluctantly takes on the job of completing an unfinished novel by famed author Verity Crawford, who was recently incapacitated. As Lowen gets deeper into her research for the novel, she begins to fall in love with her employer, Verity’s husband. But when Lowen uncovers a disturbing secret about Verity in her papers, Lowen must decide what to do with this new knowledge that could tear the family apart.

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Verity
Colleen Hoover

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The Wife Between Us
by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen

A mind-bending collaboration between two show-stopping authors, THE WIFE BETWEEN US tells one story from two perspectives: the spurned wife and the replacement woman. Vanessa, who has moved in with her aunt, spends her days drinking and stalking her younger replacement. Meanwhile, Nellie is skeptical of her new suburban lifestyle and scarred by something from her past. Both women will prove to be more than they appear as they orbit around their handsome but controlling lover, Richard.

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The Wife Between Us
Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen

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