A New York Times Summer Reads Selection | A People Best Book of the Summer | A Library Reads Pick | A Book Riot Addictive New Thriller to Add to Your TBR Pile | A Book of the Month Selection | A Publishers Weekly Summer Reads Pick | A Bookish Most-Anticipated Novel | A Good Morning America “Binge This!” Pick
Big Little Lies meets Presumed Innocent in this “irresistible domestic drama” (Washington Post) from the New York Times bestselling author of Reconstructing Amelia, in which a woman’s brutal murder reveals the perilous compromises some couples make—and the secrets they keep—in order to stay together.
Lizzie Kitsakis is working late when she gets the call. Grueling hours are standard at elite law firms like Young & Crane, but they’d be easier to swallow if Lizzie was there voluntarily. Until recently, she’d been a happily underpaid federal prosecutor. That job and her brilliant, devoted husband Sam—she had everything she’d ever wanted. And then, suddenly, it all fell apart.
No. That’s a lie. It wasn’t sudden, was it? Long ago the cracks in Lizzie’s marriage had started to show. She was just good at averting her eyes.
The last thing Lizzie needs right now is a call from an inmate at Rikers asking for help—even if Zach Grayson is an old friend. But Zach is desperate: his wife, Amanda, has been found dead at the bottom of the stairs in their Brooklyn brownstone. And Zach’s the primary suspect.
As Lizzie is drawn into the dark heart of idyllic Park Slope, she learns that Zach and Amanda weren’t what they seemed—and that their friends, a close-knit group of fellow parents at the exclusive Brooklyn Country Day school, might be protecting troubling secrets of their own. In the end, she’s left wondering not only whether her own marriage can be saved, but what it means to have a good marriage in the first place.
And the narrators Sarah Zimmerman and Karissa Vacker did an excellent job!
Rarely does a mystery/crime story makes my blood boil! I usually am angsty if done well but not switching between disgust, outrage and need to know.
I wanted simultaneously to stop reading as some character had me truly and utterly disgusted and to keep reading compulsively because I needed to know “who did it” and if Lizzie would be okay in the end.
Now that this is all out of my system, let’s backtrack and talk about what is “A Good Marriage”.
A Good Marriage is a crime/mystery told from a dual point of view.
On the one hand you follow Amanda, knowing right from the start that she is the victim found dead in a pool of blood in her house. Her husband, Zach Greyson is being arrested, first for assault on an officer.
The second POV is Lizzie Kitsakis. She is working grueling hours at the prestigious Young and Crane as a lawyer but her true love was federal prosecution. She had her dream job for years before being forced to take on a much better paid work.
Lizzie will get a phone call from Riker’s prison. Zach Grayson a former college friend needs her help as he has been arrested for assaulting an officer when he found the dead body of his wife. He needs smart and cunning Lizzie to bail him out and find who killed his wife.
We’ll go back and forth between Amanda’s past in the days preceding her death and Lizzie’s current investigation at the posh Park Slope where Zach and Amanda lived a very privileged life.
Parallel to that investigation, we learn that there is an ongoing scandal among Park Slope’s residents or rather the parents of Brooklyn Country Day School’s kids as a hacker infiltrated their private computers and dug a lot of unsavory secrets. Now they are threatened to see all these exposed, porno pictures and all.
I won’t say more about the plot.
We have many protagonists in that story and even more secrets!
Lizzie of course, our main character. Smart, courageous but also bitter because her marriage to Sam didn’t turn out as idyllic as she had hoped. She has to take the fall for her husband big mistakes, one of too many and she chooses to ignore all their flaws so far.
Amanda , sweet, kind, compassionate Amanda. We know right from the start that she died and the more I learned about her and her past, the more I felt sorry for her. If there was ever someone who never should have died like that it was compassionate Amanda.
Zach Grayson, Amanda’s husband. Millionaire and imprisoned. Former friend of Lizzie and the more I read about him the more I was infuriated. I won’t say more about it. You’ll see by yourself.
Amanda’s Park Slope’s friends: Maud and Sam.
Maud is a beautiful woman married to an outrageously good looking French obstetrician: Seb. They also are a swinger couple and every year organize a sex party. It’s on that fateful night that Amanda was killed after having attended the party.
Sam working for Zach’s foundation and her big teddy bear of a husband. Sam is nosey but a very good friend to Amanda too.
And last but not least, Caroline, Amanda’s childhood best friend.
The plot was very well crafted. Everyone has secrets and the story kept me enthralled from the very beginning. I also said that my emotions were raging when reading and I changed theories at least every minute in the last part of the story.
I found “who did it” but very late in the story to be honest.
Every character felt absolutely real and I could picture them like I would if I watched a movie.
One of my notes says: “who to trust???” and that’s really how I felt in that mind boggling crime story.
This was extremely well done and the interpretation that Sarah Zimmermann and Karissa Vacker did of the story was stellar.
I definitely recommend that one if you are an amateur of the genre and that won’t be the last book that I’ll read from that author!
Thanks for reading!