Title: Best Day Ever by Kaira Rouda
Publisher: Graydon House
Genre: Contemporary, Suspense
Length: 352 pages
Book Rating: B+
Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through NetGalley
In the bestselling, page-turning vein of The Couple Next Door and The Dinner, Kaira Rouda weaves a gripping, tautly suspenseful tale of deception and betrayal dark enough to destroy a marriage…or a life.
“I glance at my wife as she climbs into the passenger seat, and I am bursting with confidence. Today will be everything I’ve promised her…and more…”
Paul Strom has the perfect life: a glittering career as an advertising executive, a beautiful wife, two healthy boys and a big house in a wealthy suburb. And he’s the perfect husband: breadwinner, protector, provider. That’s why he’s planned a romantic weekend for his wife, Mia, at their lake house, just the two of them. And he’s promised today will be the best day ever.
But as Paul and Mia drive out of the city and toward the countryside, a spike of tension begins to wedge itself between them and doubts start to arise. How much do they trust each other? And how perfect is their marriage, or any marriage, really?
Forcing us to ask ourselves just how well we know those who are closest to us, Best Day Ever crackles with dark energy, spinning ever tighter toward its shocking conclusion.
Best Day Ever by Kaira Rouda is a chilling, suspenseful novel about a seemingly devoted husband who whisks his wife away for a romantic weekend at their lake house.
On the surface, advertising executive Paul Strom is good looking, successful and very involved in his wife, Mia, and their two sons’ lives. His marriage is quite traditional with Mia staying home to care for the children while Paul works hard to provide for his family. On the drive to their lake house, Paul is quite contemplative as he reflects on pivotal events that have occurred throughout his life. His musings run the gamut from his somewhat dysfunctional childhood to his first romance after college to his courtship of Mia. However, these rather bland reflections soon become disquieting and rather sinister as Paul’s anecdotes finally reveal his true nature. The tone of the novel soon turns ominous despite Paul’s constant assertions to Mia (and the reader) that he has planned the “best day ever” for his lovely wife.
Mia comes across as a dutiful wife who is completely under her husband’s thumb. In recent months, she has been suffering from a undiagnosed illness but her health appears to be improving. However, during the drive, Paul notices something about his wife seems to be different, but he cannot quite put his finger on what has changed. Once they arrive at their lake house, Mia immediately goes off Paul’s carefully scripted plans and he is frustrated by her emerging independence. He finally gets their evening back on track when he takes Mia to an upscale restaurant for a romantic dinner, but will their evening the way Paul has envisioned?
Narrated from Paul’s point of view and taking place over a twenty four hour period, Best Day Ever is a spellbinding novel that is impossible to put down. Although it is apparent right from the beginning that there is something quite off about Paul, it is still incredibly shocking once the truth about him is fully revealed. This tightly plotted domestic mystery has some fiendishly clever twists and turns that are sure to surprise readers as Kaira Rouda brings the novel to an unexpected conclusion.