My Other Husband: the heart-stopping new novel from the queen of the big reveal
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Never one to rest on her laurels, Dorothy Koomson really takes things to another level with My Other Husband. I was really excited about what I thought was being built up to, but it ended up going off on a completely different tangent to the one I was expecting. Who is trying to frame Cleo and just why is she pressing self-destruct on a life she is seemingly happy with? The story then flips back to her student days where she first meets Heath, a fellow student who develops an obsession with Cleo that never ends. Dorothy Koomson always knows how to pull her readers into a storyline and keep you completely wrapped up in the protagonist’s lives.
TW: racism, grooming, paedophilia, murder, sexism, misogyny, harassment, mental health, rape ⚠️ This was a really good slow burner that hits you with twists and turns when you least expect it. Past and present woven together in this take of a successful Black woman novelist who has had a tv show made of one of her books. Every book of hers that I’ve read has always gripped me from the very 1st page and this one is no exception! There was a lot of angst and emotion in the writing and you fully felt it all - sometimes I wanted to scream at Cleo and ask her what the hell she was doing. I use my writing to try to explore what I’m feeling, I try to get into the heads of other people so I can see things from their point of view.Usually, this would be a positive for me as I prefer to be shocked than for a story to go down the obvious route, but I did feel slightly let down when a new twist came into play. If you haven’t read anything by this author already, you need to and I will shout about it until you do 😂 Another massive 5 star read for me! As well as the main plot, Dorothy Koomson also makes important social commentary on how Black characters are removed or stereotyped from novels and TV shows and how it has to stop. At its heart, this is a tale of obsession, which I found fascinating (though it took a while to get there), but then so much other stuff started happening with murders and revenge that this primary theme that I wanted to learn more about got buried.
However, as time moves on and Heath is still there in Cleo’s life, she does fall for him, and at first they are deliriously happy. I love tying together the hints I’ve seen in the present day plot with things going on in the past as more and more gets revealed. I received a complimentary copy of this novel at my request from Headline via NetGalley and this review is my own unbiased opinion.
She is a very different person in the present day and it’s intriguing trying to work out what, how and why her life has imploded. As the reader gets to know more about modern-day Cleo, we are also taken back twenty-five years to when Cleo was a university student.
It must have been difficult to make the transition from 'chick lit' to thriller but the gorgeous Ms Koomson did it with style! Not much happens in the first half of the book and then SO MUCH happens in the last couple of chapters that it was somewhat jarring; and the end, while twisty, left me with unanswered questions. We then go further back in time to 1996 to her days as a student at Leeds University where she becomes best friends with Trina. Dangerous, compelling, obsessive love mixes with murder, violence and desperation until the story comes to a head with an unexpected reveal. The main character was likeable and her story was heartbreaking, the story was good and really well written, as are all of Dorothy Koomson's books.
The twists and turns as everything unfolds was second to none and every time you think you’d worked something out, you hadn’t! My Other Husband is fantastic in so many ways, it draws you into Cleo’s life, like your standing outside the window watching the drama unfold.