The Twilight Wife by A.J. Banner

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    Psychological thrillers are growing in popularity nowadays. Everywhere you go, you’re bound to see a new one ready to become the next big thing. The appeal behind this genre is however far from being superficial. The narrator, the characters, the pacing and the twists all come together to form a truly enthralling story. From the bestselling author of The Good Neighbor, A.J. Banner now dives into the story of a marine biologist who, after a dangerous diving expedition that resulted in a traumatic head injury, is now confronted with a severe case of amnesia that took away four long years from her memory. Under the care of her dear husband on a remote island, Kyra Winthrop starts to get flashes of past events, bringing her not only to doubt herself, but to doubt everyone around her. The Twilight Wife takes readers by the hand and carries them along with Kyra as she slowly uncovers her past. While doubt remains her biggest enemy during these tough times, it also transpires as her greatest ally in distinguishing fact from fiction.

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    The pacing was quick, steady and efficient. As short as the novel was, The Twilight Wife managed to deliver a compelling thriller that has you second-guessing everything that is thrown at you. Having a narrator who’s suffering from amnesia can be tricky if the author doesn’t manage to sell the authenticity of the character’s personality properly. Luckily for us, A.J. Banner does a formidable job in presenting Kyra as an individual troubled by her incapacity of remembering the past and by her consistent need to get more details and answers from others to reconstitute the broken puzzle of her life. Thanks to a well-written prose, the author was also able to keep a high level of suspense thorough the whole novel. Giving us only little drops of truth when you least expect it, The Twilight Wife brings about a desire to find answers as desperately as Kyra. While these urges to reach the ending as soon as possible and to always thread carefully whenever something enigmatic is presented are common among psychological thrillers, this novel does an outstanding job at staying engaging and fresh throughout the story.

    The writing is pretty lyrical at times and also gave the novel a distinct smoky vibe. There’s nothing like a story that has you hunting for those lost memories as fiercely as Kyra. Clawing your way through the hazy island mists, it’s also hard not to want to believe in what Kyra believes. Although I was quite wary of everything she saw, felt and heard, the author still manages to deliver an immersive thriller. Contributing to the ability of this story to keep you hooked, the author also succeeds in delivering a tale that has the atmosphere fluctuating to the protagonists mood and behaviors (or maybe its the other way around). Being secluded on an island with very little people does already wonders to suspense in this novel, but feeling that the island itself is hiding something that needs to be unveiled adds so much more tension to Kyra’s story. Her conflicted self that’s being put through an accelerated rush to untangle all the memories that slowly resurface grants readers a character with a truly tormented soul and a vast array of emotions. As the plot thickens and the twists unfolds, you certainly can’t prevent yourself from feeling bad and in awe for the situation she’s in and how things came to be.

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    A quick and excellent psychological thriller, The Twilight Wife has everything it needs to capture your attention from cover to cover. While the ending was predictable, the execution was still satisfying. The final twist was dealt with pretty quickly and could’ve been stretched out a little more so that readers can really feel the blow. In fact, it would’ve been even more exceptional if the twist was a little more darker and messy. By the end of the book, the story gets neatly wrapped up with a lot of questions left unanswered. Nonetheless, the story of Kyra Winthrop remains riveting and well-conceived. The subjects of trust and doubt were brilliantly explored and offered us the opportunity to indulge a story where nothing ever seems like what it is. Even when you think you know, A.J. Banner makes sure to remind you that you’re just as lost and unsure as Kyra is during her hunt for answers. This is the story of Kyra, where the truth is nothing pretty.


THANK YOU TO SIMON & SCHUSTER CANADA FOR SENDING ME AN ADVANCE COPY FOR REVIEW!

Do you want to read The Twilight Wife? What do you think about it?
How about you read this book for yourself!
You can pre-order your copy @Amazon Canada or @Chapters Indigo before the 27th of December 2016!
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MY OVERALL RATING: ★★★★☆/

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30 thoughts on “The Twilight Wife by A.J. Banner

    • Transhaan says:

      Thank you Annie! The ending is indeed predictable, especially if you hold on to some of the hypotheses you come up early on. Although I also though the author did a nice job in trying to make you change your mind along the way on what’s going to go down later in the story. It’s definitely short and nice thriller to check out. 🙂

      – Lashaan

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Donna says:

    Psychological thrillers are my favorites so I’m definitely interested in this book. I did read in another review that the ending would have benefited from a couple of extra chapters to answer the last questions left in the air. But I love it when authors handles amnesia the right way and give us a great unreliable character and a nicely-made plot. Great review!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Transhaan says:

      Thank you Donna! 😀 The ending was definitely the downside in the overall experience. It was super neatly cleaned up and was super short and quick. It’s definitely hard to feel the level of “twist-iness” because of that. A lot questions were indeed overlooked and left unanswered; definitely would’ve been nice to have seen a bit more focus on those closing chapters. And yes! Authors who can handle amnesia properly and give us an unreliable narrator definitely make their books a lot more fun. I hear amnesia is MEGA popular in psychological thrillers, especially since its an easy way to add suspense and thrill to a story. Thankfully, this book doesn’t do a bad job at using amnesia throughout the plot.

      – Lashaan

      Liked by 1 person

  2. lillylivered says:

    It’s sounds like a very interesting read. I recently jumped into this genre and didn’t particularly enjoy the experience. But this book sounds intriguing; maybe it’s worth a retry? Also, the title reminds me of the Abominable Bride, and anything remotely Sherlockian is definitely my cup of tea!

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    • Transhaan says:

      I haven’t read many of them as well. I mean, I have yet to read the “classics” of this genre to have a feel of how amazing psychological thrillers can be. To this date, the ones I have read are quite interesting. I sometimes wonder if its because I haven’t ready a lot of these that I end up appreciating the books more often than not. Then again, The Twilight Wife was definitely a short and thrilling story that can definitely be appreciated by many. I’m quite thankful for your kind words and I do hope you’ll enjoy this when you get around to it Danielle! 😀

      – Lashaan

      Liked by 1 person

  3. hernandeznovels says:

    I’ll have to check it out – psychological thrillers are my favorite and this one sounds very interesting. It’s always tough with the “hazy memory” angle, but Shutter Island (as a movie) did it quite well without revealing bits and pieces until the very end. I’ll have to check this out!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Lashaan and Trang (Bookidote) says:

      Shutter Island was brilliant. That ending was mind-blowing and Leo is always. simply. amazing. I haven’t read the book the movie is based on though (I’ve only learned about the book after watching the movie!). I wouldn’t be surprised if its even better as a book. The whole “amnesia/hazy memory” is a really EASY angle for authors to use when they want to create a psychological thriller. It gives them a pretty nice way to have an UNRELIABLE character. The Twilight Wife does a wonderful job in using it without being too “cliché”. This book could’ve easily been a 5 star if the ending wasn’t wrapped up so easily too. I’m glad it interests you though! I hope you’ll enjoy it whenever you get your hands on a copy. 🙂

      – Lashaan

      Liked by 1 person

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