Thomas & Mercer, 2020, 362 pages
Fourteen years ago, prosecutor Jessica Yardley's husband went to prison for a series of brutal murders. She's finally created a life with her daughter and is a well-respected attorney. She's moving on. But when a new rash of homicides has her ex-husband, Eddie, written all over them - the nightmares of her past come back to life.
The FBI asks Jessica to get involved in the hunt for this copycat killer - which means visiting her ex and collaborating with the man who tore her life apart.
As the copycat's motives become clearer, the new life Jessica created for herself gets darker. She must ask herself who she can trust and if she's capable of stopping the killer - a man whose every crime is a bloody valentine from a twisted mastermind she's afraid she may never escape.
This legal thriller is written like most legal thrillers written by lawyers: first there's the precipitating event, some gory murders, and then a trial with lots of legal maneuvers.
Jessica Yardley is a single mother raising a daughter who is 15 going on 30, a genius who pulls genius stunts like getting drunk at school and slumming around with a pot-smoking loser. It was Jessica's daughter I found most unbelievable, as she acts like a stereotypical dumb-as-hell teenage girl except when the plot requires her to be a genius.
There are a few suspensions of disbelief like that in A Killer's Wife, but for a breezy Grisham-like thriller, it was entertaining and legalistic enough. Jessica is a single mother because her ex turned out to be a serial killer. He was arrested while Jessica was still pregnant, so her daughter has never met her father. Jessica's experience caused her to go to law school and become a prosecutor. Now, there's a copycat killing people in a very similar fashion to how her ex-husband (currently on death row) murdered his victims.
The killer is soon revealed, in an improbable twist but okay, I'll go with it. The rest of the book consists of Jessica — improbably — prosecuting the second killer, with many legal shenanigans, plot twists, and of course, her daughter the supergenius pulling a few stunts.
My second book by Victor Methos. This isn't a careful, methodically-plotted mystery, it's a thriller made to be made into a B-movie. So I enjoyed it, even if it's kind of forgettable.
Also by Victor Methos: My review of The Neon Lawyer.
My complete list of book reviews.