Author: Cate Holahan
Publication: Crooked Lane Books (August 9, 2016)
Description: Ana Bacon, a young housewife, tumbles off a cruise ship into the dark and deadly waters, but did she take her secrets with her?
Investigator Ryan Monahan is a numbers man. So when his company sends him the Bacon case, which could net a ten million dollar payout, Monahan doubts that her death is just a tragic accident. But the husband has a substantial alibi and a number of witnesses claim to have seen Ana fall. So the official ruling seems to be substantiated.
Still, the more Monahan uncovers about Ana’s life, the more he realizes how many people would kill to keep her secrets hidden. And the closer he gets to the truth, the greater the odds grow that he, too, will take a fatal fall.
Cate Holahan looks at the dark underbelly of a marriage from the perspectives of the detective and the victim in her tense and enthralling page-turner, The Widower's Wife.
My Thoughts: Ryan Manahan is a former police Financial Crimes officer now turned insurance investigator after being shot. He is very familiar with numbers including odd statistics that come to his mind frequently. His current case has to do with the payment of a $5 million claim to a man whose wife disappeared overboard during a cruise in the Bahamas.
This story is told with two storylines intertwined. Ryan's investigation in late November and early December is interspersed with Ana and Tom Bacon's decision in October to defraud the insurance company by taking out big policies and faking his death.
Tom is the instigator of the plan. He has lost his very successful job as a trader and they family - Tom, Ana, and three-year-old Sophia - are in danger of losing their million dollar home. Ana has taken a job as an administrative assistant but that doesn't give them near enough to maintain their lifestyle.
Tom convinces Ana that this fraud is essential to save their family. But, when only Ana qualifies for a policy, their plans have to change. It is Ana's death that will have to be faked.
This was an intriguing story as both the past and the present were woven together. There were lots of surprising revelations throughout the story. It was also quite suspenseful as both Ryan and the reader struggle to untangle all the various threads.
I found it a gripping story.
As Tom said, robbing an insurance company was a near victimless crime. Insurers were like buildings in San Francisco, built to withstand systemic shocks. A five-million-dollar loss wouldn't even register on their Richter scale. And he knew ISI would pay. They'd delivered on his parents' policy after their car crash.I got this one for review from the publisher via NetGalley. You can buy your copy here.