A diving accident in Deception Pass, and four years of memories are missing. All she has are photographs and the assurances of her devoted husband. But what if her memory loss has a more sinister cause?
Kyra and Jacob have a beautiful home near the shore on the sparsely populated Mystic Island. A remote island in the Pacific Northwest, it is part of the San Juan Islands which are located off the northern coast of Washington State. Mystic Island is just twelve miles from end to end.
Still recuperating from her accidental head injury, Kyra, a marine biologist, is being cared for by her husband. He is doting, overattentive, and it would seem, endlessly patient. She has lost her memories of the accident and most of the last four years. Jacob tells her things over and over again. She forgets that she has asked those questions before… He takes photos of her to add to her ‘memory’ albums. She decides, on her own, to stop taking the many medications and try to ‘deal’ with her condition without them. After a few days, her mind seems clearer and she begins to have disturbing recurring dreams. Or… are they memories?
She seems to remember a man… Aiden Finlay. She seems to have strong feelings for him. She wonders… did they have an affair? She doesn’t trust her own brain. Then, Kyra realizes that Jacob has not told her of her medical history. Why? Is he keeping anything else from her?
As the memories increase, she decides to visit a therapist on the island. Her visits to the psychologist are kept secret from Jacob. Kyra bicycles into the small town to visit her. This psychologist assures her she was correct to stop her medications. She provides Kyra with an understanding ear. Eventually, she begins to wonder if Jacob really ‘wants’ her to regain her memory.
When he is not cooking or cleaning the house, Jacob spends his time in their garden cottage working on a novel. A computer genius, he has a tech company in Seattle, but does most of his work from home in order to look after Kyra.
The house is very remote. Most of the islanders are ‘off the grid’, though Jacob’s techie knowledge has helped him to set up a internet connection via satellite router. Strangely, every time Kyra searches her own name or Jacob’s name on Google, the internet connection is lost… Kyra has no family to speak of, only a dear girlfriend who now lives in Russia. Her emails to her friend are one of her only contacts to the outside world.
This domestic thriller will appeal to most psychological thriller fans. It shows how a seemingly idyllic existence can, with just a shade of menace, turn on a dime into a stifling, frightening, nightmare. With a clever plot twist and a satisfying ending this novel is highly recommended!
The publisher has generously provided a reading group guide for The Twilight Wife.
An eARC of this novel was provided to me by Simon & Schuster Canada via NetGalley in consideration of a review.
Born in India and raised in North America, A. J. Banner graduated from high school in southern California and received degrees from the University of California, Berkeley. She tried various professions after college, including a stint in law school and a memorable job at a veterinary clinic, but eventually she returned to writing. Her first novel of psychological suspense, The Good Neighbor, was a #1 Kindle bestseller, and was named by Harper’s Bazaar as the next Gone Girl. A longtime fan of Agatha Christie, Daphne du Maurier, and Alfred Hitchcock Presents, A.J. feels at home writing stories with unexpected twists and turns. She lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband and five rescued cats.