“You are now friends with Margot Banks.”
Rating: 4/ 5 Stars
If you love the Real Housewives, Lifetime Movie Network, and Dateline NBC, the Hunting Wives is for you. You’ll be taken on a page turning ride of suspense and thrill into the lives of the booze and gun enthused ladies who dubbed themselves the “Hunting Wives”. We follow the protagonist through blush worthy moments and lots of self-sabotage. If only she was not friends with Margot Banks…
Main character, Sophie O’neil, desires a slower paced life for her family. So, she, her husband, and toddler uproot from Chicago and move to the small town of Mapleton, Texas. However, it’s not your typical small town – think more along the lines of Wisteria Lane. Housewives, luxury, and lots of alcohol. The easily influenced Sophie quickly falls into the allure of town’s elite women: the Hunting Wives and their ringleader, Margot Banks.
Instead of sticking to the domestic life, Sophie joins the Hunting Wives and falls prey to seduction and obsession. As she falls deeper into the secret sex and party filled lives of the Hunting Wives, she finds herself in the middle of a murder investigation and her life spiraling out of control.
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Unlikeable and seemingly a well-thought out antihero, I could barely root for our protagonist. However, Sophie’s lack of decision making skills, self-sabotage, and shaky morals kept me interested. Sophie yearns for a picture perfect life: happy family and stability. But, does that truly make her happy? That’s not what her daredevil actions and Margot infatuation make you think.
Then there are the hunting wives: Margot, Callie, Tina, and Jill. These women are Mean Girls all grown up. We have Margot, the ring leader and seemingly the source of immorality and manipulation amongst the ladies. Callie, Margot’s key minion who may be even more obsessed than Sophie. Tina, the friendly gossip and Jill, the quiet friend and protective mother.
Are any characters likeable? Yes, but the novel doesn’t delve deeply into their story for good reason. The novel highlights Sophie’s budding friendship with Erin, a friendly everyday mom-type and her home life with her husband, Graham.
Thrills and Chills
The true mystery comes in at the 54% mark of the book. Although I enjoyed looking into the secret lives of the Hunting Wives, I kept waiting for the thrills. Once they came, I was all in to figure out the killer. The build up to the thrills relies in our protagonist’s struggles to live a family-oriented life or single-handedly destroy her family to fit in.
As the suspense rolled out, it became predictable. However, I was too far in and interested in the characters to put down the book.
Although the mystery was a bit predictable, the Hunting Wives is hard to put down. This is the perfect summer read for those wanting a sizzling novel, blush worthy moments, and true crime. I finished in about three days and enjoyed every minute.
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