A Circle of Wives by Alice LaPlante

A Circle of Wives by Alice LaPlante

Genre: Fiction/ Mystery
Publisher: Grove Atlantic
Publication Date: 2014
Pages: 272
Source: Copy provided by the publisher

The Short Version:
A dead man is soon found to have had three wives and the inivestigation into his death becomes both complicated police work and an examination of the women and relationships in his life.

Why I Read It:
I enjoyed Alice LaPlante’s first book Turn of Mind quite a bit so when I read the description of this one it was an easy choice for me to read it.

The Book:
From the publisher

When Dr. John Taylor is found dead in a hotel room in his own hometown, the local police find enough incriminating evidence to suspect foul play. Detective Samantha Adams, whose posh Palo Alto beat usually covers small-town crimes, is innocently thrown into a high-profile murder case that is more intricately intertwined than she could ever imagine. A renowned plastic surgeon, a respected family man, and an active community spokesman, Dr. Taylor was well loved and admired. But, hidden from the public eye, he led a secret life—in fact, multiple lives. A closeted polygamist, Dr. Taylor was married to three very different women in three separate cities. And when these three unsuspecting women show up at his funeral, suspicions run high. Detective Adams soon finds herself tracking down a murderer through a deceitful web of lies, marital discord, and broken dreams.

My Thoughts:
While Dr. John Taylor is the common thread this book is about the women. It’s about the young detective investigating his death and about the three women who were married to him.

Almost no one in this book is telling the whole truth. Lies and deception are as much a part of the current situation as they were a part of Dr. Taylor’s life.The twists and turns of the case as Samantha Taylor tries to determine who killed Dr. Taylor are interesting and along the way Samantha begins to question her own relationship.

The story is told in alternating chapters by Samantha Taylor and each of the wives. They were all unlikable in their own way and I had a little trouble believing that someone would put up with the conditions their mutual husband put on their lives and communication. Despite the parts of this that I found a bit unbelievable it was an interesting story.

The ending felt abrupt to me. In fact I wondered at first if the egalley I was reading was missing a section. I had to let the ending simmer a bit in my head before I could decide how I felt about it.

For me this was one of those books that I liked but at the same time there were things about it that I didn’t like. I think it would be a fabulous book club selection because there is plenty to talk about and I’m curious to hear what other folks who have read it think about it.

3.5 stars Rating 3.5/5