Margaret Tracy is not a real person yet I was still intrigued by “her” novel “Mrs. White.” You see, Margaret Tracy is actually the collaborative pseudonym for Andrew and Laurence Klavan and the novel looked to be a very good mystery/thriller that I was happy to sink my teeth into.
Mrs. White was content with her life. Happy, even. Her existence was almost idyllic. She was a small-town housewife who married her high school sweetheart and was completely devoted to caring for him and their son. The family was not rich but what she lacked in material she more than made up for with love. Mrs. White would have been happy if things never really changed. She had everything she desired in the moment. Everything was so perfect that she never even suspected the dark specter that loomed behind the light of her life.
Mrs. White may be the perfect housewife and content with her lot in life but her husband is something more. He has been leading a double life of violence stemming from a troubled childhood. He has been slaying women for years now and the world is slowly closing in around him. Now Mrs. White finds herself caught in the middle as she begins to suspect her husband’s double life and must come to terms with what she must do. Is her husband a monster who must be turned in to the police before he can strike again or is he her husband that she has sworn to love and protect no matter what? The world is no longer a perfect place for Mrs. White as her husband’s evil ways come home to roost and she will make decisions that will affect her and her son forever.
“Mrs. White” started off strong and it was easy to fall into the rhythm of the story as well as come to care about Mrs. White. She is borderline too good of a character but there is an innocence and small town air to her that she comes across as believable if more than a little gullible. One may wonder how she could live with a monster and not know what is happening but it is easy to see how she could easily be led astray by her husband and be in the dark about his “extracurricular” activity. She has a one track mind and that is to care for her family. To achieve this end, she willingly overlooks things that may have been clues to her husband’s dark secret and her own innocence does not allow her to recognize the evil that he hides inside. The portrait of her character is very well done and very interesting as the story builds up.
The story loses a bit of steam once Mrs. White begins to decide how to handle the situation with her husband as it becomes fairly obvious at that point and unfold in an all-too-familiar manner. It does remain interesting to the end but the character study of Mrs. White is just more interesting than the actual story itself. Still, the Klavan’s know how to craft and interesting and compelling story that was a quick read and kept me hooked to the end. I wish that there was a different ending to the story that just did not scream “been there, done that” and kept the story from reaching the level that it was capable of reaching. Even though the title and summary of the book scream “Lifetime move,” this is a book that can be enjoyed by everyone and is sure to thrill fans of the genre. This is another reprinting by Open Road Integrated Media as they bring back some of the genre’s overlooked novels and as such the story is slightly dated at times but this should not impact the reader’s enjoyment of the story. Fans of mysteries and thrillers are sure to enjoy the novel and should eagerly add it to their collections.
I would like to thank Open Road Integrated Media and NetGalley for this review copy. “Mrs. White” is available now.