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The Killer's Wife    by Bill Floyd order for
Killer's Wife
by Bill Floyd
Order:  USA  Can
Minotaur, 2008 (2008)
Hardcover, CD
* * *   Reviewed by Tim Davis

In Bill Floyd's fascinating debut novel, The Killer's Wife, readers hear from narrator Leigh Wren, a divorced woman whose tortured past violently intrudes upon her present and future.

Previously married to Randall (Randy) Roberts Mosley, Leigh - then known as Nina Mosley - believed she had found the perfect husband; however, Leigh had no idea that Randy was a serial killer, responsible for a 'foul harvest' and 'festival of blood' lasting more than ten years. Now, though, living in Cary, a small suburban community in North Carolina, Leigh has - she thought - successfully changed her identity and left her horrifying past behind her.

Suddenly, Leigh's peaceful existence is threatened when the obsessively vindictive father of one of Randy's brutally murdered victims shows up in Cary and exposes Leigh's secret past. As the community turns against Leigh and her innocent seven-year old son Hayden, Leigh is forced to revisit troublesome questions from the past: what, if any, were her suspicions about her ex-husband's bloody rampages, and what, if any, was her complicity in his criminal activities? Tensions in Leigh's life then explode as murder and abduction in Cary force Leigh into a traumatic and violent collision with a surprising, phoenix-like reincarnation from the past.

The Killer's Wife succeeds brilliantly on multiple levels: as an intimate portrait of a self-described sociopath as ironically revealed by his wife, the one person who ought to have known him most completely and intimately; as an objective examination of the ways in which individuals and communities can either decently forgive or irrationally condemn and stigmatize collateral victims of horrible crimes; and as a perceptive character study in which readers are invited to think about the appropriate levels of responsibilities for crimes and criminals.

Well-written and suspense-filled, The Killer's Wife, with its refreshingly new and different treatment of a familiar plot-line, is a highly recommended thriller.

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