The Expat Wife

A Novel

Fiction - Thriller - Psychological
335 Pages
Reviewed on 04/07/2023
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by Viga Boland for Readers' Favorite

Despite the stinging cold and short days, given the superb and majestic scenery, who wouldn’t want to live in Switzerland? Newly married Rose Blackwood, that’s who. Rose is The Expat Wife referenced in the title of Courtney Hargrove’s latest book, a protagonist who, bit by bit, suspects something's "rotten" around her, but has no idea who it's coming from or who she can trust.

A journalist, Rose quickly feels at a loose end with too much time on her hands as a non-working wife who spends her days socializing, sipping wine, brunching, and shopping with other ex-pat wives. There seems to be a lot of pressure on the wives to get pregnant, and too little information from Wesley on precisely what his high-paying career entails. Rose also has limited access to money, cannot locate her passport, puts her inability to sleep at night down to jet lag, even after weeks in Switzerland, and has a big blank about six hours following a party after which one of the ex-pat wives has disappeared, and no-one seems particularly disturbed. What on earth is going on in the land of the Matterhorn?

The mysterious atmosphere surrounding the people and events, the robotic servants and pill-popping parties, and references to witches, runes, Ouija boards, and more in this story are as chilling as the snowy Swiss setting. Hargrove is a master at keeping us as confused and questioning as her protagonist. Rose and I sensed a dramatic climax, but Hargrove kept us waiting until the last few chapters. Then, when all became clear, it was most unexpected. Hargrove’s clever use of dialogue is as skillful as her beautiful descriptions of settings and the creation of credible characters. Couple those style elements with her ability to keep us in suspense for over 300 pages, and you know why Courtney Hargrove is a number one best-selling author.

Anne-Marie Reynolds

The Expat Wife by Courtney Hargrove is a gripping psychological thriller set in Switzerland. Rose and Wesley Blackwood are newly married, and his job led to them relocating from New York to Lucerne in Switzerland. It doesn’t take them long to settle in, and Rose soon makes friends. When Jacqueline disappears, Rose starts to realize that, beautiful though Lucerne is, it hides an ugly secret - and so does someone around her. Rose used to be an investigative journalist and decides to find out what happened to Jacqueline. Convinced she has been murdered, Rose begins to unearth deadly secrets that no one in town wants to be uncovered. Will Rose discover the truth, where does her husband fit in, and will anything ever be the same again?

The Expat Wife by Courtney Hargrove is a suspenseful psychological thriller that gets under your skin and into your mind, and once it hooks you, it won’t let go. The past and the present collide as the story unfolds, told from the first-person perspective by the main protagonist, Rose. It doesn’t just deal with the disappearance of a person but also explores everything that can go wrong in a whirlwind romance and marriage to a person you barely know. The story has plenty of action, and the characters are well-rounded individuals that you get to know gradually throughout the plot. The tension builds steadily as it heads toward a twist you won’t see coming. It was an enjoyable story and recommended if you like a good psychological thriller in a beautiful setting.

Alma Boucher

The Expat Wife is a psychological thriller written by Courtney Hargrove. After a whirlwind romance, Wesley asks Rose to marry him. Wesley just got an offer for his dream job in Switzerland. Rose quits her job as a journalist and leaves her friends behind to move with her new husband to Lucerne. The company that Wesley works for has specific rules in place that he and Rose must follow. Wesley quickly adapts to these rules and is at ease with their new lifestyle. Rose is soon included in the ex-pat wives' circle of friends. However, Rose is still struggling with her unique circumstances and jet lag. Rose's friend, Jacqueline, disappears, and Rose is determined to find out where she is. Rose soon realizes that everything is not as it seems.

The Expat Wife is all about this extravagant and luxurious lifestyle. Courtney Hargrove describes this idyllic lifestyle and environment, and it is easy to become part of it. I could not believe that under all this beauty, evil was lurking. The story is filled with intrigue and nail-biting thrills. The twists and turns provided more than enough suspense to keep me on the edge of my seat. The story was unpredictable, and I could not guess what would happen next. The characters were authentic and relatable. The story was superbly written and had me guessing until the end. The ending was unexpected and fitting after all the twists and turns.