Iris and Will are the perfect couple. Married for seven years, Will pampers Iris with complements, jewelry and cooks a decent celebratory meal when required. As a brilliant software engineer, he is content with his beautiful home, beautiful wife and portable computer. Iris is a child phycologist at a private elite high school who is completely in love with everything she knows about her husband and couldn’t be happier with life.
Author Kimberly Belle is no stranger here at ROTR. Earlier this year I reviewed Belle’s more recent novel Dear Wife published in 2019. The Marriage Lie was published in 2016 and adheres to the writer’s trademark undemanding writing style and theme: Marriage Scandal.
This book opens with Iris and Will relishing in their seven-year wedding anniversary and finally taking pleasure in agree to the right time to starting a family. The next day, Will is due in Orlando, Florida as the Keynote speaker at his company’s technology conference. Only, he never makes it….
On the same morning of Will’s departure, a plane crashes in a mid-western field on route to Seattle, Washington, traveling in the opposite direction of Florida. When Iris sees the massive wreak on the news broadcast, she is relieved to know that it isn’t Will’s plane. Especially after referencing all of the travel details he had given her. However, Iris gets a horrific call from the airline company explaining Will was indeed on the plane when it had crashed.
The next few chapters of the book follow Iris through unraveling one lie from her husband after another, evolving into an unofficial investigation of the husband she may not have known at all.
The plot is interesting and entertaining. Character development is just deep enough to draw readers into the story. Iris is borderline antagonistic as a grieving wife; her twin brother is sweet and supportive, only occasionally confronting what seems like a lack of common sense from his sister.
Some incongruities in character attributes may jump off the page adding to frustrations either with the book itself or the main characters. For example, Iris, a well-educated and trained Psychiatrist apparently didn’t pick up any negative intuitions about her husband prior to the accident, even though up until that point he had no records of family, friends, or friendly co-workers. She had never even seen his Facebook or bank accounts and knew none of his passwords. It reads almost as if she married a complete stranger and remained such after the wedding.
“When you know what to look for, spotting a lie is pretty easy. You see it in the fidgets and sudden head movements or sometimes, when the person is overcompensating, through no movements at all. In how their breathing changes, or how they provide too much information, repeating phrases and offering up irrelevant details. In the way they shuffle their feet or touch their mouths or put a hand to their throats. It’s basic psychology, physical signals that the body doesn’t agree with the words coming out of its mouth.” ~Iris
If you are looking for a plot twist shock similar to Dear Wife, you may be disappointed. Although, The Marriage lie delivers a complete, sequential, logical story -it is somewhat predictable and surface level. While in prior books by Belle, the reader may feel some marital nuances in the story are relatable, this one is a hard sell. Nevertheless, if you are able to reach the ending pages of this book you may be delighted in Iris’s cleaver revenge.
If you are looking for an easy, entertaining read on a sunny afternoon this book is for you!
Happy Reading Friends!