Review: “His Hidden Wife” by Wendy Clarke

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Dark, brooding, and hauntingly eerie, “His Hidden Wife” makes you question how many of your memories are facts and how many are alternative versions implanted in your mind by others.

About the Book

“His Hidden Wife” by Wendy Clarke

The first time you see them, out for an evening walk on the cliffs, you’ll think they’re the perfect family. You’ll see a wife who looks so happy, strolling peacefully beside her husband in his dark winter coat, holding her daughter’s hand. But you have no idea what’s really happening in their house…

If you come a little closer you might hear the way the man speaks to his wife.

You might notice that the woman doesn’t have any close friends. That sometimes her husband doesn’t want her to leave the house. You might wonder if that’s a scar her beautiful daughter is hiding on her neck.

When you read the local newspaper and hear the news that the wife has fallen from the cliffs, you’ll question whether it was really an accident at all.

And when the husband starts dating someone new – a woman with the same long dark hair and big blue eyes as his wife – will you say something this time?

Because someone has to protect the little girl and stop history from repeating itself. And it may already be too late.

My Review

Maya’s mother died when she was only six. She barely remembers anything from that day– or her childhood up until that point. The memories she does have were given to her by her father Stephen. Tales of her loving, doting mother.  Stories of the happy life they shared. But that changes when he brings new girlfriend Amy home. With her help, Maya starts to remember fragments from the past, but they don’t match her father’s bright and cheery version. Combined with his sometimes dark moods, it makes her wonder what he is hiding and why. She’s always protected him, but should she fear him instead?

Teresa’s a psychologist in Stephen’s practice. She’s known him for years and has been in love with him for just as long. Her own life in shambles due to a bad marriage and a troubled teenage son, she also senses Stephen is keeping secrets. Like his daughter, she’ll do anything to protect him. But when she stumbles upon the truth, it’s Maya she must suddenly protect. But from whom? 

Dark, brooding, and hauntingly eerie, “His Hidden Wife” makes you question how many of your memories are facts and how many are alternative versions implanted in your mind by others. Set in Stephen’s house atop a seaside cliff, the wispy fog that hangs over the landscape adds an ominous feel to the story while foreshadowing the peril that lies ahead for the characters. While the story moves at a brisk pace, the author remains vague about the details of the past and present, making it highly suspenseful and hard to put down. A few shocking twists toward the end help to lift the fog, but it’s the final twist that will knock you off the edge of the cliff before you see it coming.  

Despite disliking all the characters except Maya, I was instantly engrossed by “His Hidden Wife”, getting lost in the chapters without realizing it. Author Wendy Clarke’s pairing of setting and plot was like pinot noir and chocolate: deliciously brilliant. It’s what makes this novel stand out– and above a lot of others.

Thank you to Wendy Clarke and Bookouture for a complimentary eARC in exchange for an honest review.

About the Author

Wendy Clarke is a bestselling author of psychological thrillers. She started her career writing short fiction and serials for national women’s magazines. After having over three hundred short stories published, she progressed to writing novels. With a degree in psychology, and intrigued with how the human mind can affect behaviour, it was inevitable that she would eventually want to explore her darker side.

What She Saw was Wendy’s debut psychological thriller, published by Bookouture. Since then, she has published two more, We Were Sisters and The Bride. Her fourth thriller, His Hidden Wife, will be published in February 2021.

In her previous life, Wendy has published three collections of short stories and has been a short story judge for the Chiltern Writers Group, Nottingham Writers Group and The Society of Women Writers and journalists.

Wendy lives with her husband and step-dog in Sussex and when not writing is usually dancing, singing or watching any programme that involves food!