Publication Date: September 6, 2013
Allen and Cynthia Hunt were growing distant when Allan started having doubts about his wife’s fidelity. He follows her one night in order to confirm his suspicions and is there in time to save her from a potential rape. In the melee he accidentally kills Cynthia’s attacker. Thinking that he got away with murder, they go back to their now increasingly troubled marriage until one day the brother of Cynthia’s attacker shows up knowing what they’ve done as though he was there. What will Cynthia and Allen do when he reveals that he will keep his silence in exchange for a Drive-by Wife?
Mike Wells provided me with an A.R.C. of this novel in exchange for a review. As always with Advanced Readers Copies, content may change between the copy reviewed and publication of the novel.
[easyazon-link asin=”B00I21R1BK” locale=”us”]The Drive-By Wife, Book 1[/easyazon-link] is a psychological thriller in the vein of “Cape Fear” and “Misery”. Wells presents the reader with a completely bat-stuff baddie in the character of Billy but one your heart can’t help but bleed a little for. Billy is a deceptively smart antagonist staying one step ahead of Cynthia and Allen and all he appears to want is to live the 50s family sitcom. Cynthia resembles Billy’s mother, a woman he loved but betrayed him. Billy presents himself as someone who has lost his whole family and simply wants what he’s lost. To be fair, I have been to Clay County, Kentucky, Billy’s home area and it is stepping back in time. I visited Frog Holler and it would make a perfect setting for this horror novel. Beautiful and isolated.
On the other end of the spectrum is Allen. Allen is a fully realized character, which is how the reader knows he’s pretty much an inherently complete douchebag. In this character-driven psychological thriller this reader kind of smiled for Billy every time he one-upped Allen. This is how we know that Wells has created the completely perfect bad guy. Of course, once we learn Billy’s story the reader’s mind could change or, like this reader, you might deem the twist completely brilliant.
Mike Wells’s plot is linear and has the feeling of being very well planned. He gives the reader what I’ll call deadline spots. Points in the stated future by which certain things have to be done so that whatever filler or minutia the author includes is actually in the sense of planning. As a familiar touchstone for my readers, the filler in this novel reminds me of the John Rain character by Barry Eisler. Rain plots his moves methodically but because of the urgent nature, it reads as action. Wells has his plot and characters in constant motion. Allen and Cynthia won’t sit back and be victims. They try to be masters of their own destinies but will anything they do work? They have a secret that while Cynthia could claim self defense it would seem that ship has sailed. Are they to now forever be at the mercy of the guy stopping over to play house on Tuesday nights… and will he be happy with just Tuesday nights or is that only the beginning?[easyazon-link asin=”B00I21R1BK” locale=”us”]The Drive-By Wife, Book 1[/easyazon-link] is a wonderful psychological thriller. If you like Stephen King, Dennis Lehane and Gillian Flynn, you will like Mike Wells. Pick up a copy of [easyazon-link asin=”B00I21R1BK” locale=”us”]The Drive-By Wife, Book 1[/easyazon-link] on September 6, 2013.
For more information about Mike Wells and his work, visit his website. You can connect with him on Goodreads, Shelfari, Facebook and on Twitter @Mikewellsauthor. Series readers can track his books on Fictfact.