The Daylight Marriage by Heidi Pitlor
You really have to wonder if this is a story of a marriage gone under, or how the smallest thing could backfire and lead into total and utter disaster. Or both. I think both.
Lovell and Hannah have been having a hard time of it for awhile, but his temper comes out during an argument and he comes perilously close to hitting Hannah. Soon after this argument, Hannah disappears. Lovell tries to keep things cool with their two kids, but the oldest daughter had heard the final argument and states to her father that she believes he hurt Hannah. The youngest son doesn’t really register much in the novel; just saying he misses his mother.
The in-laws, the neighbors, friends of the family, and even the police- no one really verbalizes much of their beliefs of what happened to Hannah. After Hannah’s bracelet and wallet turn up on a beach in Boston where her ex-boyfriend proposed, Lovell tracks him down and meets with him on the sly, thinking Hannah may have left him for her ex. After that turns up nothing, Lovell travels back home and quietly begins to freak out when body parts start turning up in that area. As he waits for DNA results, he relieves his marriage and his regrets over letting things slip away due to his workaholic tendencies. You’re left with an overwhelming sense of regret when the novel finally ends. You’re also left with questions and some unease. I couldn’t get over the fact that in most books where the wife is missing, the husband is usually suspect #1 and the cops and everyone are all over them as a result. You see a little bit of that here, but not a lot b/c the novel is far too busy between Hannah and Lovell’s alternating stories of the marriage and dissolution of it. I like that the author did not let the stereotypical ways of your normal suspense thriller take over. The only problem is that no matter how I look at the story- from Hannah and Lovell’s points of view- I didn’t particularly like either of the characters at all, so I had a hard time connecting with this novel. It’s a quick read, though. Once you pick it up and get through it, you’re through it quickly; there are no stop gaps in this story. Another positive spin, for certain. I just wish I had connected with it more.