11 Mar The Golden Couple by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen
Appearances aren’t always what they seem …
Welcome to my stop on the blogtour for The Golden Couple – a book I was immediately attracted to by its vibrant cover, and the promise of darkness within …
Avery Chambers is a maverick therapist who has been struck off the register for her unconventional methods. Nevertheless, she continues to consult as an independent counsellor, and has no shortage of clients.
The latest to cross her threshold are Marissa Bishop and her husband Matthew. On the surface they’re the golden couple – rich, beautiful, blessed with a small son, and living a life of luxury in one of Washington DC’s most prestigious areas.
But Marissa is here to confess to cheating on Matthew, and to find a way forward for their marriage.
Avery starts them on her 10-step programme, designed to bring resolution to all manners of conflict. Controversially, it means she becomes deeply involved in her clients’ life – and she soon finds secrets lurking that both Marissa and Matthew would rather keep hidden.
With the arrival of anonymous flowers, unpleasant notes and even a physical assault on Matthew, it soon becomes clear that someone is continuing to stir up trouble for the couple, but is it Marissa’s one-night stand? Or glamorous Natasha, who’s always had a thing for Matthew? Or sugar-sweet Polly, Marissa’s oh-so-eager shop assistant?
Maybe … or maybe Avery will have to dig deeper into their past if they are to go forward together into the future.
Meanwhile, Avery has her own problems to deal with. While respecting the confidentiality of a previous client, she’s blown the whistle on an unscrupulous pharmacy firm who are now out for revenge. She also has at least one other client’s ex-wife deeply unhappy with her.
As she wryly observes at one point, “Other people’s issues are so much easier to fix than my own.”
As their two stories twine ever closer together, it’s hard to see Avery’s 10-point plan working out for Marissa and Matthew before some sort of tragedy strikes!
Wow! I love a thriller domestic noir, but the trouble with reading so many is that you can often see the twist from miles ahead. It takes a really brilliant writer to keep the reader guessing to the very last page.
In this case it takes two brilliant writers – and don’t they do it cleverly?
I was so impressed by the plotting of this story. In a slow-burning but utterly compelling narrative, characters are moved into place like pieces on a chessboard, all ready to play their part.
And what great characters they are.
Avery is especially impressive – she is very straight with the reader, honest about her strengths and vulnerabilities, which include the fact that she is recently widowed, lonely and often afraid. Her new-found friend, adopted bull terrier Romeo, offers little protection – he’s afraid of his own shadow – but his presence brings a lovely touch of light relief at key moments in the story.
Marissa, the alternate narrator in the book, is very empathetic, too, though it’s soon clear we can’t fully trust her narrative.
Other key players Matthew, Polly and Natasha, Avery’s ex-boyfriend Skip, and the Bishops’ son Bennett, are all convincing characters who bring extra light and shade to an already gripping story.
This is a story of contrasts. Avery’s unconventional methods, the ever present hint of danger, the menace that lurks in the shadow all vie with the shiny veneer of the affluent lifestyle the Bishops enjoy.
It makes for a convincing and unputdownable read!
The Golden Couple, published by Macmillan is available in hardback and ebook, and available here
About the Authors
Greer Hendricks spent two decades as an editor. Prior to her tenure in book publishing, she earned her Master’s in journalism from Columbia University. Her writing has appeared in the New York Times, Allure and Publishers Weekly. Greer lives in Manhattan with her husband and two children.
Sarah Pekkanen is the internationally and USA Today bestselling author of eight solo novels. A former investigative journalist and feature writer, she has published her work in The Washington Post, USA Today, and many other publications. She is the mother of three sons and lives just outside Washington, D.C.
Together, they have written the New York Times bestselling novels The Wife Between Us, An Anonymous Girl, and You Are Not Alone. The Golden Couple is their fourth novel.