I received this book for free from SheSpeaks. It is my choice to write a blog post about it. All opinions are my own. For more information, check out my disclosure.
Ever since I started reading chapter books, I enjoyed reading mystery books. I like to play the part of detective and try to solve the mystery before reaching the end of the book. It’s Always the Husband by Michele Campbell is a mystery book that involves a trio of unlikely friends and a sudden death twenty years into their friendship. When I finished the book, I was reeling from how the mystery all unfolded. Now, I won’t divulge any spoilers while reviewing this book, so feel free to continue reading and decide if you’d like to add this to your must-read list.
Michele Cambell takes an interesting approach in her storytelling. There’s no one main protagonist and one point of view. Rather, the story unfolds using the point of view of each friend and later on, adds additional point of view storytelling from the cop and the husband of the deceased. While this is unique, it’s hard to discover any facts when everything you’re reading is tainted with personal opinions. It does, however, allow you to uncover potential motives behind each character you meet.
I did not like how Cambell kept adding more characters into the mix of potential suspects. She added way too many red herrings that felt forced. For example, you read that one minor character developed anger management issues after an accident and the timing where you find out this new piece of information was far from natural. An experienced mystery writer would not have ended up throwing in these details haphazardly. However, for a debut novel, Cambell did well in keeping the reader hooked into turning page after page.
What had me hooked were the scenes describing a life of opulence and the authenticity of university life. I do not envy the privileged life, but find it intriguing to read about as fiction. Because this follows friends from university and on, there are some romance aspects written in that I enjoyed, as well. My favorite genre is romance mystery and since this touched on it a little, I found myself liking this book despite its flaws.
My version of It’s Always the Husband is a little over 300 pages long and I must say that it’s an easy read. There aren’t many difficult vocabulary words and the flow of the story with the dialogue goes quite smoothly. I finished reading this in a couple of days. The mystery gets solved with a twist and it was not what I was expecting. I loved it! The only issue is that the story remains incomplete.
There are a lot of questions leftover about what happened with all the other characters and the cop. I do not like unresolved endings and would have preferred a concrete version of “this is how the other cops resolved this matter” and “this is what happened to the other prime suspect”. There’s none of that in this book. I also didn’t like the cop character because he was completely inappropriate. He wasn’t objective and didn’t handle the case as a cop should have. The story explains why, but I did not like having that classic detective character absent from the mystery.
Despite these faults, I could not put this book down until I reached the end. This is a wonderful concept for a mystery story, but I felt the execution could have been better. I do recommend giving It’s Always the Husband a try. For a debut novel, it is done well and it’s exciting to see the mystery unfold. It goes on sale May 16 and you can pre-order your copy here. If you enjoyed this review, check out my latest review on Influenster’s Poppy Voxbox and my recommendations for 8 books that a one year old must read.
What other good mystery books do you recommend? Comment and let me know! Please share this post if this book sounds like a fun read!