ARC provided by the publisher and NetGalley
Available at Amazon
Reviewed by 2shay
In this relentlessly paced novel of psychological suspense, New York Times bestselling author Michelle Richmond crafts an intense and shocking tale that asks: How far would you go to protect your marriage?
Newlyweds Alice and Jake are a picture-perfect couple. Alice, once a singer in a well-known rock band, is now a successful lawyer. Jake is a partner in an up-and-coming psychology practice. Their life together holds endless possibilities. After receiving an enticing wedding gift from one of Alice’s prominent clients, they decide to join an exclusive and mysterious group known only as The Pact.
The goal of The Pact seems simple: to keep marriages happy and intact. And most of its rules make sense. Always answer the phone when your spouse calls. Exchange thoughtful gifts monthly. Plan a trip together once per quarter. . . .
Never mention The Pact to anyone.
Alice and Jake are initially seduced by the glamorous parties, the sense of community, their widening social circle of like-minded couples.
And then one of them breaks the rules.
The young lovers are about to discover that for adherents to The Pact, membership, like marriage, is for life. And The Pact will go to any lengths to enforce that rule.
For Jake and Alice, the marriage of their dreams is about to become their worst nightmare.
Review by 2shay
I have had this book forever. At least it seems that way. I have read fantasy and sci-fi that was more believable. Two well-educated people falling for this cult crap? I don’t think so. The author was pretty smart for locating the story in Northern California, the only possible place, if you look hard enough, to find people this naive…and that would be a stretch. In Texas, other southern states and most of the Midwest, the first attempt to kidnap a spouse for “retraining” would end in a bad way involving bodily harm, probably a good bit of gunfire and ambulances.
I tried really hard to find a way to like this book. The author has a great reputation, so I thought I would give her a try. I won’t make that mistake again. I tried to see a “dark comedy”, but that didn’t work because there was zero humor. I tried to find some elements of an “alternate reality”, but that didn’t work either. I finally gave up, deciding that the author was writing what she thought was a serious psychological thriller.
I haven’t said much about the story, the blurb does a good job of describing the book, a blurb that lured me right in. The writing is superb. It’s the only reason I actually, painfully, finished this nonsense. After all the effort I took with this book, then the ending…”non-ending”…made me want to throw my iPad through a wall.
If, by chance, you find other reviewers who actually have some praise for this book and you take their word over mine? Beware! You are entering The Twilight Zone! My advise?