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The End of Her    by Shari Lapena order for
End of Her
by Shari Lapena
Order:  USA  Can
Penguin, 2020 (2020)
Hardcover, CD, e-Book
* *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

Stephanie Kilgour has the perfect life with her beloved husband Patrick - aside from the exhaustion caused by caring for their colicky twin girls. Then, everything changes, causing her to gradually question her knowledge of her husband, her marriage, and her own safety as well as that of her babies. The questions arise slowly yet steadily in Shari Lapena's The End of Her.

The trouble all begins with Erica Voss's intrusion into their lives. After she shows up at Patrick's office, she meets with him and threatens to reveal his past to Stephanie unless he pays up. Erica had been Patrick's previous wife Lindsey's best friend when they had an affair. She also threatens to tell Stephanie how Lindsey died in a car accident that he caused.

Patrick tells all (or almost all) to Stephanie himself and she believes him, at least at first, but her doubts steadily grow, especially after Erica causes the police to re-open the investigation into Lindsey's death. She starts looking for more that her husband is keeping from her, and finds it.

Meanwhile, the reader sees that Erica has other irons in the fire. She had an affair with Patrick's business partner Niall, and blackmails him as well. A son resulted from Erica's fling with Patrick. Cheryl and Gary Manning paid Erica a hundred thousand dollars to agree to their adoption of Devin, and now she's threatening to cause trouble unless they pay even more.

All these stressed relationships escalate to violence and eventually to murder - ordinary people pushed into actions they would normally never have contemplated to make The End of Her.

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