I received this book for free from the Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.The Perfect Couple by Jackie Kabler
Published by One More Chapter on 17 April 2020
Genres: Psychological Thriller, Mystery, Crime, Suspense
Format: ARC, eBook
Source: NetGalley, Publisher
Buy on Amazon
The perfect couple…or the perfect lie?
A year and a half ago, Gemma met the love of her life, Danny. Since then, their relationship has been like something out of a dream. But one Friday evening, Gemma returns home to find Danny is nowhere to be seen.
After two days with no word from her husband, Gemma turns to the police. She is horrified with what she discovers – a serial killer is on the loose in Bristol. When she sees the photos of the victims she is even more stunned…the victims all look just like Danny.
But, the detectives aren’t convinced by Gemma’s story. Why has no one apart from Gemma seen or heard from Danny in weeks? Why is there barely a trace of him in their flat? Is she telling them the truth, or are there more secrets and lies in this marriage than meets the eye?
The Perfect Couple – always beware any book title that has perfect in it. Nine times out of ten it is anything but perfect. Gemma and Danny have the perfect life, the perfect jobs, and the perfect friends. Nothing and no-one are perfect, and Danny and Gemma are no exception. Gemma is a freelance journalist and Danny works in IT. Life is sweet, that is until Gemma goes on a business trip and comes home to no chilled prosecco, no dinner cooking, and no Danny. Initially Gemma thinks he’s been held late at work but the hours tick by and still there’s no Danny. She is finally forced to report him missing.
The synopsis initially got me overly excited at the prospect of reading The Perfect Couple. A twisty domestic thriller usually gets my pulse rocketing but no such luck with this tale. It’s not all negative and there were genuinely parts that had me intrigued enough to keep reading, and my favourite red herring trope had me questioning everything but by the midpoint of the book was becoming increasingly frustrated at the pacing and the direction that the author was taking the story in.
Although the premise of The Perfect Couple had serious potential to keep me hooked it just wasn’t a good fit for me. The pacing from the very beginning was slow (considering how it started, it didn’t sit well with me.) As it progressed, I really had considered DNF’ing it, but I wanted to see if I was right in my assumptions. By the mid-point it felt like we weren’t any further forward in working out what exactly had happened to Danny – although I’m sure every reader at this point knew what happened to him.
The Perfect Couple’s main character, Gemma just grated on my very last nerve. As a character she was mind numbingly dull and seemed to lack any substance whatsoever. She didn’t stand out (maybe that was the author’s intention) and for someone that had been a crime investigative journalist she was incredibly naïve bordering on stupid when dealing with different lines of investigation. The investigating detectives also seemed blind. It made me wonder what kind of cases they were used to dealing with in Bristol because there were facts that were staring at them in the face and they still couldn’t see it. Didn’t see the wood for the trees!
As a well-seasoned suspense reader, it just didn’t work well for me, there were more holes in the plot than a colander.
ABOUT JACKIE KABLER
Jackie Kabler is a television presenter, reporter and crime writer.
She spent more than nine years with GMTV as a news correspondent and presenter, during which she covered some of the biggest stories of the decade including President Clinton’s impeachment trial, the Asian tsunami, the Kosovo crisis, famine in Ethiopia, the Athens Olympics, the Soham murders and the disappearance of Madeleine McCann.
Jackie left GMTV to work as a freelance broadcaster in 2008. She became a regular presenter of the ITV national morning news and a reporter across ITN’s news programmes including News at Ten; a reporter and presenter on the BBC’s Midlands Today programme; presenter of property show Selfbuilder TV on Sky’s Information TV channel; and guested as a TV gardening expert. Her work also appeared on the BBC’s News Channel and on CNN.
She also worked as a media trainer and in media simulation – in particular with the armed forces – and produced, wrote and presented corporate and promotional films.
In January 2013 Jackie joined the UK’s biggest shopping channel, QVC, as a presenter.
A former newspaper reporter, she has also worked as a reporter and presenter for Channel TV, ITV West, Central TV, Five News and Setanta Sports News.
In 2014 Jackie signed a three-book deal with publisher Accent Press for the Cora Baxter Mysteries, a series of humorous murder mysteries set in a television room. In 2018 she signed a two-book deal with HarperCollins, and a new deal for two further novels in 2020. See the Books pages for more details.