She was young and beautiful, married to a famous author. They were celebrating their anniversary at their stunning country estate. So why did Julia Blake walk out of her perfect life, apparently leaving no trace?
Seren, a junior reporter for the local paper, can't believe her luck when she lands an exclusive with Julia's husband, Max. But as Seren spends more time at the couple's remote mansion, probing ever deeper into the case, dark questions await.
What was Julia really like, behind closed doors? Was her marriage to this brooding, secretive man as perfect as it seemed? And did she really mean to disappear that night - or was she murdered?
Amazon Affiliate Link: Kindle
I'd like to thank Anne Cater from Random Things Tours for inviting me to be a part of this blog tour and Headline for my copy of The Hidden Wife to review via NetGalley.
As soon as I read the blurb for The Hidden Wife it sounded intriguing so I couldn't wait to start reading and it certainly didn't disappoint as nothing was as it seemed. Ambitious young journalist Seren is given the opportunity of a lifetime, an exclusive interview with reclusive author Max Blake whose beautiful younger wife Julia disappeared without trace nine months ago. But Seren has more in common with Max than at first thought as we soon discover and why he agreed to being interviewed by her.
The story follows Seren's interactions with Max as she makes trips to him at Brook House to interview him about his and Julia's relationship and what exactly happened on that fateful night that led to her disappearance. But his interfering PA Miriam is like a guard dog and is constantly monitoring her every move and seems to be totally over protective of her boss, does she know more than she lets on?
Running alongside the Seren/Max thread we also get to follow the police investigation in the hours, weeks and months that followed the disappearance of Julia. And like the detectives, DS Katie Ingles and DC Chris Green, as well as what Seren discovers, I had so many theories as to what had happened to Julia as snippets are revealed but also a few red herrings are dropped in to throw us off track.
Seren was a character that you couldn't help but warm to. She had the naivety of youth that she didn't really think about the situations that she was getting herself into even when alarm bells started ringing in her head that things weren't quite right. She was doggedly following the story no matter where it took her so that she could get her exclusive to make a name for herself. As for Julia, she really was an enigma from everything everyone was saying about her. The classic trophy younger wife who it appeared had everything that she could possibly want but yet appearances are deceiving and you never really know what is going on behind closed doors especially when she wasn't there to tell her own story.
Like Seren I found myself caught up in the drama wanting to know everything there was to know about Julia and what had happened to her. And before I knew it hours had passed even though it's not really a fast paced story, the short chapter format allows you to follow everything that is happening and draws you into their lives.
As much as enjoyed The Hidden Wife I did have a couple of issues with the story, firstly the abrupt ending - everything had built up slowly until that point and then it was all over within a matter of chapters. Also with regards to Seren's own family mystery, although we got an answer to one aspect of the thread we never really got a resolution to the full story. But these are both minor niggles in what was an otherwise compelling read.