The Pocket Wife
By Susan Crawford
Published by Faber & Faber (5 March 2015)
Dana Catrell wakes from a drunken stupor to find that her neighbour, Celia, has been brutally murdered in her own home. But Dana was at Celia's house only a few hours ago. Celia wanted to show her a photo - a photo of Dana's husband with another women - and Dana has blank spots of what happened to the rest of the afternoon…
This is a thriller that makes the reader question everything. Dana, we learn, has a history of mental illness and as she descends into another manic episode, the line between what actually happened and what she has imagined becomes blurred.
The Pocket Wife was a good psychological thriller.
Dana is bipolar and off her medication. Her neighbour is found murdered, and Dana appears to have been the last person to see her alive. Is Dana right to be worried about that afternoon in her neighbour's house or is her illness making her paranoid? She has no idea which memories are real and which have been fabricated by her fragile mind.
I enjoyed The Pocket Wife, but found it to be an uncomfortable read in places as it explored Dana's mental illness, but this was due to the subject matter rather than the writing. As Dana's mental state declines, and a manic phase sets in, no one is there to support her and encourage her to seek help.
It's up to Jack Moss, the detective in charge of the case, to put together the clues and discover what actually happened that day. I was a bit surprised by some of his actions at the end, as I thought he was the only honest and genuine character. I guessed (correctly) who the murderer was towards the end of the book, although I still had a niggling doubt until the last page.
I received an Advance Reader Copy from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.