A Reliable Wife by Robert Goolrick
Algonquin Books (2010)
320 pages, 3.5 stars
ABOUT THE BOOK: Ralph Truitt is an aging businessman in search of a reliable wife. Catherine Land has a traumatic past that has made her wary of everyone. She uses her intelligence and sexuality to manipulate people into giving her what she wants. When she replies to Ralph’s ad in the paper, her plan is not to be a reliable wife, but to take him for all he has and murder him in the process.
This novel had a very Gothic feel. I liked the darkness of the prose and the descriptions of scene and action. Catherine is pretty awful, but for some reason I was on her side. She was sympathetic because of her rocky past, but ruthless.
The sheer amount of sex in this book was a problem for some reviewers, but I didn’t mind it because it was well written and sort of cerebral even in the vulgar scenes. The thing that bothered me was the stories of all the crazy people doing things like killing their brothers. That just seemed like too much. What is the deal with these people? They just REALLY can’t handle the winter, I guess.
This is a psychological thriller and a page turner. I’d recommend it for the cold season or like a long plane ride.
ABOUT THE OUTFIT: My dear little murderess, slip into this blood red maxi skirt that covers the love marks on your thighs. Pair it with this cozy sweater the color of the snow all around you. It has warmed you, just as being with Ralph has warmed your heart.
These western booties are the perfect footwear for your treks to the city to see your lover. Worn with these toasty wool socks, they will keep your toes warm in the winter months, so that you don’t have the urge to ax murder someone.
This long, heavy parka is the perfect winter gear for the snow plains of the West. Smear on some lip plumper, which reminds you of your lips’ natural state after seeing that city lover. This cuff bracelet is a warning to all those around: you are quite a bit cray. And you know it.