Title: It’s Always the Husband by Michele Campbell
Publisher: St. Martin’s press
Genre: Contemporary, Mystery, Suspense
Length: 337 pages
Book Rating: B
Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through NetGalley
Kate, Aubrey, and Jenny first met as college roommates and soon became inseparable, despite being as different as three women can be. Kate was beautiful, wild, wealthy, and damaged. Aubrey, on financial aid, came from a broken home, and wanted more than anything to distance herself from her past. And Jenny was a striver—brilliant, ambitious, and determined to succeed. As an unlikely friendship formed, the three of them swore they would always be there for each other.
But twenty years later, one of them is standing at the edge of a bridge, and someone is urging her to jump.
How did it come to this?
Kate married the gorgeous party boy, Aubrey married up, and Jenny married the boy next door. But how can these three women love and hate each other? Can feelings this strong lead to murder? When one of them dies under mysterious circumstances, will everyone assume, as is often the case, that it’s always the husband?
A suspenseful, absorbing novel that examines the complexities of friendship, It’s Always the Husband will keep readers guessing right up to its shocking conclusion.
It’s Always the Husband by Michele Campbell is a twisted tale of jealousy, secrets and murder.
Twenty-two years earlier, Aubrey Miller, Jenny Vega and Kate Eastman are assigned as roommates at the prestigious Carlisle College in Belle River, NH. The three young women come from very disparate backgrounds yet they immediately become best friends. Over the course of several months, their friendship gradually turns toxic and a tragic event occurs near the end of their freshman year that forever changes their lives
Fast forward to the present when a change in fortune brings one of the trio back to Belle River where the other women currently reside. Jenny is very influential in town but questions swirl around her husband Tim’s construction business after he wins several lucrative contracts for projects at the college campus. Aubrey is married to a doctor whose serial cheating endangers the future of their marriage. Kate is also married and a financial scandal leaves her at the mercy of her wealthy father who does not exactly jump in to rescue her. Their reunion is uneasy and fraught with tension and when one of the women is apparently murdered, is her death a result of long events or something in the present?
Aubrey is from very humble beginnings and she is convinced that college will finally give her the sense of belonging that is missing from her life. A scholarship student, she is uncomfortable in the wealthy college environment and she is desperate to fit in with her roommates. Jenny is a townie who is über organized and does not plan to let anything get in the way of her plans for a lucrative career far from her small town roots. Kate is a poor little rich girl who is incredibly charismatic despite her very troubled past. Aubrey practically worships Kate and she is easily drawn into her new friend’s partying life style. Jenny remains the responsible one in their friendship but even she cannot resist some of Kate’s more outrageous exploits. Kate might be charming and a great deal of fun but she is incredibly self-absorbed and thoughtlessly acts without taking anyone else’s feelings into account. Both she and Aubrey are in an increasingly downward spiral that culminates in a tragedy.
In the present, Aubrey, Jenny and Kate remain essentially unchanged from their college days. Their personality traits have become more exaggerated over the years and they are still plagued by the same insecurities and idiosyncrasies they experienced when they first met. However, they each have a lot to lose if the truth about the events from their freshman year is ever revealed. What, if anything, does the past have to do with the current murder? Or can the motive be found among the events that have occurred in the present?
Despite the extremely unlikable cast of characters, It’s Always the Husband is an engrossing mystery that is full of unexpected twists and turns. Michele Campbell has penned a dark and atmospheric whodunit that will enthrall readers from beginning to end. With plenty of suspects with plenty of motives for the murder, the killer’s identity is cleverly concealed until the novel’s jaw-dropping conclusion.