*originally published oon 07/19/2016
THE STEPMOTHER Written by Claire Seeber
2016; 345 Pages (Bookouture)
Genre: psychological thriller, suspense, mystery
(I received an ARC from the NETGALLEY)
A naive single mother meets a divorced man with twin teens (boy and girl). They marry quick and move into a creepy house. The young girl doesn’t like stepmother. The woman does not know her husband’s secret nor does he know her secret (that is continually eluded to and given in tiny bites). There is a secret locked closet. Things are happening to the naive women that only she experiences. Is she going mad or is it someone within the house.
The story is told from Jeanie’s, the naive woman, point of view with some snippets from her sister, Marlena. At first I wasn’t sure how Marlena would come into the story and how she was responding…we do learn later how she knows what is going. We get a blurb in the beginning about an older woman being jealous of the young daughter’s beauty…for me that gave away the suspense as I figured out what was going on with Jeanie. There were also several hints to Rebecca – book and movie. I was really hoping there was a twist because 3/4 into the book you think you already know how it will end. But it can’t end that way…spoiler alert: IT DOES! I never got a sense of Marlena as a character as we don’t really get to know her. And, Matthew, the husband, is a bit dry
The psychological “thriller” is well done that I would recommend this novel for a quick beach read. It is a good read but it just lacks the oomph to send it to Drop Everything And Read status. I would definitely read another Seeber book.