Guilty Wives — Review

James Patterson and David Ellis. Guilty Wives. Boston: Little Brown, 2012. Print.

Hey, this is strictly junk food reading, but who does not like potato chips once in a while? Amazon offered the first twenty chapters of this page-turner (there are some 150 all told) free, and it was enough to get me interested.

Told in the first person, four American wives of American expats (one millionaire, a couple of diplomats) decide to leave their home and diplomatic station in Switzerland for a long weekend in Monte Carlo. Wives only. Girls just wanna have fun.

Our narrator is a 42 year old mother who still looks OK. The ladies have their wild night on a yacht with some men that pick them up. The next morning they wake up to find their hotel is surrounded by a SWAT team, and two men from France that they were with the night before have been murdered.

The story begins in medias res. Our narrator is trying to survive a brutal French prison along with her three other friends. From that point we learn how she got there—the wild weekend and the subsequent trial. Without giving away too much of the plot, one of the victims turns out to be a popular public figure so that the French authorities and most of the French populace are out for blood.

Much of the story is about prison survival and the extremes our narrator had to go to in order to exonerate her friends and herself. Wild plot twists, corrupt officials, sadistic prison guards, false witnesses—how can justice prevail? How can you stop reading? Why would anyone ever want to visit France after reading this book?

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