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The Fiancee: A Novel Audio CD – Unabridged, 29 June 2021
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About the Author
Kate White is the New York Times bestselling author of twelve murder mysteries and thrillers and several hugely popular career books, including I Shouldn't Be Telling You This: How to Ask for the Money, Snag the Promotion, and Create the Career You Deserve, and Why Good Girls Don't Get Ahead but Gutsy Girls Do. For fourteen years, she was editor-in-chief of Cosmopolitan magazine, where she increased overall circulation by thirty percent and made it the #1 magazine in the United States in single-copy sales.
- Publisher : HarperCollins B and Blackstone Publishing; Unabridged edition (29 June 2021)
- Language : English
- Audio CD : 1 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1665095997
- ISBN-13 : 978-1665095990
- Dimensions : 13.97 x 2.79 x 14.22 cm
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Top reviews from other countries
Actress Summer Keaton and her husband Gabe, along with her stepson, Henry, are visiting Gabe's millionaire parents for the annual summer retreat, along with Gabe's three brothers and their respective significant others. While two of Gabe's brothers are married, Nick, the baby, has arrived with his new girlfriend, an actress who Summer remembers from a few years ago, as they both acted in the same performance. While Hannah doesn't acknowledge their former acquaintanceship (WHY did she LIE about being in that play???!!!) , Summer mentally boils. Hannah is beautiful, charming, and successful, while Summer's career is stalling. When the atmosphere turns grim, and a body shows up, Summer becomes convinced that Hannah is to blame...
*** SPOILERS*** NOT TOO MAJOR
Why? Here is where this novel just veers into cuckoo land. Summer suspects Hannah...because SHE DOESN'T LIKE HANNAH. Yup. Clever plotting here. Rarely have I read such a deranged plot device as this novel rolls out--a spoiled, entitled, pouting, rich actress heartily dislikes a "rival" (Hannah has done nothing to earn Summer's enmity, really) SO MUCH that she decides the "rival" MUST be guilty of a felony (I mean, in THEORY, that's nice. I mean, I bet we all wish that people we disliked, or who got better jobs, or had better hair, or nicer cars, would have some whiff of karma come to them. But no one calls the boss to say, "Hey, I know security has been worried about that graffiti on the building. Have you checked out that jerk who just got promoted? You know, Captain All-Star with the great attitude?")!
Until I was deep in this novel, I thought I was reading a satire. Really. The characters in this book inhabit a world that is nothing so much as a soap opera--White Millionaires With Secrets! No one in this family is remotely likeable, or realistic. No one is a fully realized character. The Keatons live a charmed life (Upper East Side! Palm Beach! Estate in Buck's County! Children/In-laws are dermatologists, fine wine importers, fine art gallery owners, except for the lone daughter-in-law of mixed race who works for a philanthropical organization (and always feels left out). The Keaton's maid/housekeeper has an assistant, who is LITERALLY called "Bonnie's helper" the entire time (she doesn't deserve her own name? None of these people would bother to learn the name of someone serving them food, clearing their plates, and washing up after them?). They flit around the novel, in turn snarling at each other, whispering urgently, or, most of the time, ignoring serious issues that most people would talk about, instantly. Summer tries to persuade everyone that Hannah might be either dangerous or a killer, depending on where in the novel the scene takes place.
For full disclosure, I must mention that Hannah is written as a....difficult person, as well, but neither woman is a sterling example in the universe of lovely people.
Summer, I suspect, is SUPPOSED to be a charming protagonist. Instead, she is a vapid, spoiled narcissist, bent on exposing Hannah for absolutely nothing except Summer's own insecurities. Summer investigates a mystery, led only by her pre-existing bias (there's a name for this in research: confirmation bias). Any and all information she discovers leads her inexorably toward the conclusion that yes, Hannah is terrible. And a killer. She must be, because she lied about being in a play.
Until I was at the end of the novel, I held out hope that I was reading something ingenious. Would the whole novel turn and twist into something completely different? Would Summer's sunny life of luxury be a metaphor for something twisted and dark? Would the tone suddenly change into something thoughtful--would Summer begin to look at life academically or critically, stepping into the role of a deft or nuanced observer?
Spoiler: no. It really is what it seems to be. A distressingly simplistic novel about people you probably would never care about.
It's a whodunnit, but as a full disclosure, I was so shocked that the characters were this shallow and unlikeable, that I didn't care. I didn't figure out who the murderer was, but it didn't matter. Kate White can write, as in, she can technically write sentences, but that's a low bar. So should any writer be able to do. Let's have a plot and characters, too.
Will buzz around and use low Amazon reviewer number on release date!
Summer’s looking forward to a break from hustling for acting work in Manhattan when she, her husband Gabe, and Gabe’s nine-year-old son arrive at the annual family get-together at her in-laws’ sprawling estate. On the agenda are leisurely gourmet meals, tennis matches, and plenty of relaxation by the pool.
But this year, Gabe’s brother Nick has invited his new flame Hannah, whom Summer immediately recognizes from a few years before. Oddly, her brother-in-law’s girlfriend claims not to know her. Yet she charms the other family members, and after Nick announces that he’s proposed to Hannah, Summer doesn’t have much choice but to grin and bear it.
Then the reunion is rocked by tragedy when a family member is found dead. Though the doctors attribute the loss to natural causes, a grieving Summer fears that the too-good-to-be-true Hannah is involved, even as Gabe dismisses her suspicions.
How far will Summer go to expose the truth? As she investigates just what Nick’s fiancée might have done to keep her perfect image intact, she begins to fear that the first death might only be the beginning . . .
The Fiancee opens with a family celebration and some strange events that lead Summer to begin following clues suggesting that her brother-in-law’s new fiancée might be a murderer. But she finds no support for her beliefs from her husband or any others.
Then another person is murdered, and the similar clues support Summer’s theory, while a few additional details make another family member appear to agree.
When Summer is assaulted by one of the least likely family members, her beliefs are turned upside down.
Will the truth finally emerge before someone else dies? A twisted tale that had me guessing all the way through, leading to a 5 star award.