Book Reviews

Book Review: The Happy Couple, by Samantha Hayes

The Happy Couple,

by Samantha Hayes

Publication: Bookouture; May 6, 2020

happy coupleAbout the book:

Me and Will. Will and Me. A perfect match. He said he would always be there for me, but it’s been a year since he drained his coffee, walked out the front door and vanished.

Did he leave me? Or did something terrible happen? I’m scared someone finally found out about what happened on the drive home that night…

I lie awake at night trawling the internet for rental properties, desperate for an escape. Until I see my husband’s gorgeous face smiling back at me from a photograph on the fireplace in someone else’s home, and something inside of me snaps.

At the house, I find no trace of him and the woman who lives there has no idea who I am. But I’m certain she’s hiding something behind the locked door upstairs. I know that if I want answers, I have to stay.

You might think that what’s inside that room is the answer to all my questions and the end of all my pain. But it’s only the beginning…

**My Review**

So today I was in the mood for a thriller and decided to dive into The Happy Couple, the upcoming release from author Samantha Hayes. I absolutely loved Date Night when I read it last year, so I went into this with high hopes. I did enjoy it, but I had some ups and downs. 

This is about a woman Jo Carter, whose husband Will went missing about a year ago. Jo is a seamstress and co-owns a business. Will was an actor/drama teacher before he disappeared from what Jo considered a happy marriage. Or what initially seemed to be a happy marriage. Jo’s support system consists of her best friend Louise whom she’s known since she was a child. Jo’s parents seem very unlikeable, however, early on in this novel, I was wondering how reliable of a narrator Jo was. Although Will has been gone a year, she “sees” him and “talks to” him frequently. 

Louise is always trying to get Jo to move on and one night at a dinner party she keeps suggesting Jo go on vacation, which is ridiculous because Jo barely makes enough money to keep her head above water. But a man at dinner suggests these programs where you sign up to housesit and/or petsit for people in exchange for using their homes as a holiday. After Louise butts in and signs Jo up for the program, she starts scrolling the various homes in various locations and in one of the photos for a potential home, she sees pictures of Will on the mantle in a living room. Of course, she applies to housesit, which leads her to the home of a woman named Suzanne. 

So, I will start by saying that the first 25-35% of this novel seemed to drag on forever. Jo was annoying and appeared to have some serious mental issues going on with her obsessing over Will, where he was, why he left – but then seeing him everywhere and having conversations with his conjured image all the time. Moreover, more often than not, if Jo was thinking something, it turned out she was actually saying out loud confusing the other characters in the story, as well as me. I struggled at times to keep up with what she was actually thinking versus what she was actually saying. As far as main characters go, she made me start to feel that I was as crazy as she was. 

Luckily, things started to become more interested and bits of pieces of their story started to fall into place. We learn that something bad happened not long before Will disappears. We learn that Jo became suspicious of him and a co-star in a play. We learn that Suzanne was involved in a bad accident that has left her traumatized. Most importantly, we learn that there has been some serious dishonesty. All of the makings of a great thriller, right?

My big positives from this novel are that the author managed to plant so many different seeds of doubt that I lost count (which I love about Samantha Hayes). I would think one thing, but then realize I was completely off-base. I also loved that once things really started to get interesting, it was a wildly fast, hands-in-the-air roller coaster ride that didn’t slow down until the end. I was confused, frustrated, and surprised over and over, making this a fun and addictive read. But again, this was once things started to pick up because the beginning was so slow.

What I didn’t like, other than the cumbersome beginning, was basically the last few paragraphs of the novel. I loved the way things were wrapped up until the end. I felt that it was silly, absurd, and almost just thrown in as an after-thought. Those last paragraphs almost made this a 3-star read for me, but other parts were so good, it’s 4 stars for me. I’m a huge fan of this author overall and will always read her work when given the opportunity. This woman throws in a twist like no other. 

*Thanks to NetGalley and Bookouture for providing this ARC in exchange for my honest review!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s