cover image The New Husband

The New Husband

D.J. Palmer. St. Martin’s, $27.99 (384p) ISBN 978-1-250-10749-7

In this cleverly plotted but creepy domestic noir from Palmer (Saving Meghan), 30-something Nina Garrity thinks she has found Mr. Right after her unfaithful husband vanished, presumed drowned during a solo fishing trip, more than a year earlier. Nina’s 13-year-old daughter, Maggie, has reason, however, not to welcome Nina’s now live-in relationship with widower Simon Fitch and resolves to do everything possible to sabotage it. Beyond the “ewwh” factor of Simon’s being a teacher at her Seabury, N.H., school, Maggie gets flashes of an explosive, darker self beneath his solicitous façade. But when she tries to share her fears, Nina is quick to brush them aside—until Simon’s efforts to exert increasing control over many aspects of Nina’s own life plant seeds of doubt. Tension mounts as mother and daughter independently snoop into Simon and his past. Twists proliferate as the plot becomes increasingly implausible and bloody—and also, despite the appealingly spunky Maggie, less pleasurably suspenseful than just plain disturbing. That said, Palmer fans will be satisfied. 100,000-copy announced first printing. Agent: Meg Ruly, Jane Rotrosen Agency. (Apr.)