Copy of Add a subheading 15 - REVIEW: What His Wife Knew by Jo Jakeman
Psychological Thriller

REVIEW: What His Wife Knew by Jo Jakeman

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.

What His Wife Knew by Jo Jakeman
Published by Vintage Digital on February 17, 2022
ISBN: 9781784709266
Genres: Fiction, Mystery & Detective, Amateur Sleuth
Pages: 354
Format: ARC, eBook
Source: NetGalley, Publisher
Buy on Amazon


Beth Lomas thought she knew her late husband. But this one small word, written on the back of a discarded envelope and left on their kitchen table convinces the police that Oscar took his own life. As the police announce they are not seeking anyone else in connection with Oscar's death, Beth is convinced that there is more to the story.

As she sets out to discover what really happened, Beth uncovers shocking truths about the man she thought she knew better than anyone. In their small town it seems like every stone she turns hides an ugly secret and it's not long before her own dark past begins to rise to the surface.

What His Wife Knew is an enthralling, page-turning mystery concerned with what it means to love, and the importance of female friendship in the face of the darkest situations life can throw at us.

What would you do if everything you knew, everything you lived for was suddenly snatched away at the drop of a hat? What His Wife Knew is a novel portraying a Wife’s denial and grief at being told her husband has died by Suicide. The remnants of her and her children’s lives are now a scattered ruin. She doesn’t know how to parent them in a way that they need, she can’t face doing the things that gave her pleasure…she is left in a wasteland of pain. With all, why does her husband committing suicide feel so wrong?

The situation in What His Wife Knew is one of my worst fears. How can you be just getting on with life one day and the next to find yourself without a husband, and your children without a father? Beth’s husband Oscar has been identified dead after falling from a large drop in the peak district. Alongside his brother, Harvey they were keen hikers and knew the area around Cloud’s drop very well. The only thing he left behind was a note that simply said Sorry and his wedding ring. Why if it was suicide did, he take his wedding ring off?

In dealing with the aftermath of Oscar’s discovery his wife, Beth is dealing with denial. She knows he’s been identified as the dead body, but suicide is just not in his scope. He is described as self-important and couldn’t imagine a life without him in it…I think he thinks a little too much of himself. She begins to wonder if he could have been murdered rather than a cut and dry suicide. As she searches for the truth, she discovers that he has more than one skeleton in the closet. His ill deeds pile up and she can imagine more than one person may want him dead.

What His Wife Knew is a taut and highly emotive thriller that had the heat prickling upon my skin. With the added element of DC Lowry investigating the crime we get a sense that even she has her doubts. Jakeman provides the right amount of details to feed the reader’s appetite. You think there’s only one mystery to decode but there are several and it works incredibly well. Old and new faces alike suddenly are criticized under the harsh glass of a microscope, leaving the reader to play a shrewd game of Cluedo.

What His Wife Knew is an addictive thriller with a secretive centre. My brain felt like popping with the pressure and the intensity of a family with more issues than vogue. Fantastic.


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Jo was the winner of the prestigious Friday Night Live competition at York Festival of Writing.

Her debut psychological thriller was published in the UK as Sticks and Stones by Harvill Secker (Penguin Random House) and as The Exes’ Revenge in the USA and Canada. It was shortlisted for the Best Revenge Thriller at the Dead Good Reader Awards 2019.

Since then Jo had had two more books published (Safe House and What His Wife Knew) and had them translated into several languages.

She loves to hear from readers from across the globe.

Jo’s third thriller, WHAT HIS WIFE KNEW is OUT NOW!

She lives in Cornwall with her family and is an avid wild swimmer, making the most of her home county. She is also a very keen cook and if thriller writing doesn’t work out for her she might just try cookery books!

“Jo Jakeman’s assured debut is a revenge thriller…a cracking pace, plenty of twists and some well-judged dark humour.”–The Guardian (UK)

“Reads like a darker Big Little Lies with all the female rage of Sharp Objects.”

“Witty and satirical” The Times.


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