Thursday 16 September 2021

Book Review | The Ex-Husband by Karen Hamilton | prettylittlewriter

 Thank you so much to Rosie from Headline for sending me an advanced readers copy for review (even though I’ve only managed to read it after the publication date, whoops!)

This is the first crime novel that I’ve read where it is based primarily on board a boat, with multiple trips to different Caribbean islands. It is unique, clever, and picturesque with a killer twist.



‘Charlotte Wilson didn't choose a life of crime. It chose her. Once introduced to the world of wealthy clients and easy money by her ex-husband on board cruise ships, Charlotte was hooked. However, complacency and greed led to a slip-up with devastating consequences. Her ex winds up dead and Charlotte is threatened with exposure.

Attending a wedding party on-board a luxury cruise liner gives Charlotte the perfect guise to return to the scene of her original crimes on a Caribbean island, in order to retrieve hidden evidence. However, trapped out at sea, Charlotte realises that the person threatening her must also be on board. But who?

Upon discovering the link between a past victim and her current tormentor, a horrified Charlotte finds the roles reversed - because it turns out that it really does take one to know one - unless she can pull off her biggest con yet by persuading them of her innocence.’

I really felt a sense of escapism within this novel due to the locations throughout, I could vividly picture the gorgeous sun-kissed island vibes and also the stunning clothes that Charlotte would always wear. There were so many characters throughout, and a lot of them you were seemingly expected to dislike, however, I found that many of them had their flaws but were still quite likeable (I actually disliked both Charlotte and Sam more than anyone else!).


Charlotte and Sam’s relationship seemed perfect to begin with, young and so in-love, and only as the novel progresses throughout each chapter (Karen separated the ‘Then’ from the ‘Now’) do we slowly see the relationship coming apart, scam by scam.

I really liked that the chapters were split between the past and the present, as we got to see how Charlotte’s relationship, and how she herself, evolved, and what led to her current situation.

The pace of the novel is brilliant; I was eager to keep reading to find out who was tormenting Charlotte.

You are also kept guessing who the killer is throughout, a kind of murder-mystery vibe, with all of the guests on-board the present cruise ship being suspects. About halfway through the novel, I had my suspicions of who the killer was, and these were proven correct at the very end of the novel, which I was quite proud of.


Living in Devon myself, it was also lovely having the mention of a gorgeous house on the seafront, giving that little bit of familiarity to me.


I enjoyed this novel immensely, and was very impressed with Karen’s writing, and I’m now looking forward to getting my hands on her first two novels!


4/5 stars

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