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Reviewed by Viga Boland for Readers' Favorite
It’s fascinating to come away from a crime novel more disturbed by the psychological aspects of why the crime happened than by the crime itself. That’s what impressed me most about Housewife by Karen Crawford. Erica, a bored, wealthy housewife, is ready for an affair. Alex looks like the man who can give her the zing she’s missing in her marriage. But what she doesn’t know about Alex is dangerous. Ultimately, what starts as a casual hook-up could end in death and disaster. This excellently plotted, engaging crime novel gets your heart beating a little faster with every turn of the page. But what gets your brain thumping even faster than your heart is considering why Erica was so bored in the first place: Erica is just too much like so many homemakers regardless of their socio-economic status. On the surface, she has everything a woman could want, but underneath, she’s a mess. Despite her intelligence and considerable talents, she feels unimportant and unappreciated by both her husband and children. She is looking for fulfillment, for significance beyond being a mother and housewife.
It would be easy to think of Housewife as a novel for female readers, but quite frankly, men would do well to read it. Psychologically, it’s an eye-opening exposé of what can and most likely does contribute to many marriage breakups. While the crime aspects of Housewife, i.e., drug use and drug cartels, may not be part of average everyday life, it’s a good bet many of the other facets of Erica’s life are similar to our own. Crawford is an excellent writer: her insights into human nature, along with her ability to let us experience them through her characters, is above par. The plot pace is quick and exciting, the tension palpable, and the conclusion realistic. Housewife is the first novel by Karen Crawford that I have read, but it won’t be the last!