Editorial note: I received a copy of Just the Nicest Couple in exchange for a review. All opinions are my own.
Just the Nicest Couple by Mary Kubica is an entertaining domestic thriller that will keep you guessing until the end.
It’s been a while since I’ve read a thriller! I tend to start off the year with a thriller or two. It’s a good switch from the more serious literary stories.
I’ve read some of Mary Kubica’s other thrillers and I really like how she approaches her stories. They’re well-written, engaging and oftentimes quite surprising. That was definitely the case with Just the Nicest Couple.
What’s the Story About
Jake Hayes is missing. At first, his wife, Nina, thinks he’s taking a break after their huge fight from the night before. But days go by and Jake is no where to be found, Nina starts to worry. Where is Jake?
Lily Scott, Nina’s friend and coworker, thinks she may have been the last to see Jake before he went missing. After Lily confesses everything to her husband, Christian, the two make a pact not to tell anyone what happened. But Nina is out there looking for her husband, and she won’t stop until the truth is discovered.
The story is told from the perspectives of Nina and Christian. I thought it was an interesting choice to choose Christian over Lily. It added quite a bit of tension for the reader because Christian is relying on Lily to tell him what happened between her and Jake.
As she continuously tells her story, it becomes apparent she’s holding something back, even if Christian is unaware at first. Christian also tends to have some dark thoughts, especially when it comes to protecting his wife.
Whereas I felt Nina was a sympathetic character. Not only is she dealing with the disappearance of her husband but her mother is very ill. It’s been a struggle trying to balance carrying for her mother while also dealing with her extremely needy husband.
I will say, the novel could have used a little more character development overall. For instance, I would have liked to have read more flashbacks between Nina and Jake perhaps early on in their marriage. It just seemed like there was a missing part there. I wanted to know more about Lily and her background as well.
My favorite kind of thrillers are these type of domestic stories. I think they are quite fascinating and really makes you think. This one is a look at two very different marriages: Lily and Christian seem quite happy while Nina and Jake fight constantly. But even with Lily and Christian, there are still untold secrets between the two of them.
Beyond marriages, there’s also a focus on motherhood—Lily is pregnant again after suffering multiple miscarriages while Nina is trying to be there for her ailing mother. Lily wants nothing more than for the baby to be safe and healthy.
Nina struggles with the idea of becoming a mother herself. Prior to Jake’s disappearance, she thought it would eventually happen, but now she’s not sure, especially with how volatile her relationship is with Jake.
I keep these spoiler-free so I can’t go too much into detail. But overall, I thought this was a good, solid read. It was a page-turner and I truly was wondering where the story would go. I guessed one twist, but there are other story reveals that I did not see coming.
And to me, that’s what makes these kind of stories entertaining! I thought the reveals were surprising but not too over the top (let’s face it, most thrillers do go in a bizarre direction with the reveals).
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