cover image Just the Nicest Couple

Just the Nicest Couple

Mary Kubica. Park Row, $28.99 (352p) ISBN 978-0-7783-3311-1

This uneven, initially slow-moving domestic suspense novel from bestseller Kubica (The Good Girl) focuses on two very different couples: algebra teacher Lily Scott, and her doting husband, Christian, a market research analyst; and Nina Hayes, an English teacher at the same school as Lily, and her unfaithful surgeon husband, Jake. The small fissures in both relationships are brought into sharp relief when Jake goes missing. Was it because he and Nina had argued? Was it because of Jake’s philandering? Are Lily and Christian involved in the disappearance? Where is Jake and why hasn’t he contacted his distraught wife? Chapters narrated by Lily, Nina, and Christian offer conflicting takes on what really happened, leading Christian to muse, “The line between right and wrong is getting more blurry with each day.” The author does a good job keeping the reader in the dark about Jake’s fate and dropping ambiguous if ultimately significant details that raise questions about just how nice the characters really are, but there isn’t much action and the ending comes as a bit of a letdown. Kubica has done better. Agent: Michelle Brower, Trellis Literary. (Jan.)