The Spy's Wife by Reginald Hill
I listened to the unabridged audio book version so it was the same as the print edition.
* Plot *
AS the title suggests, the novel revolves around the wife of an alleged Soviet spy. The lady in question is called Molly Keatley. At the start of the novel, she is happy being a housewife, washing the dishes and doing everything to please her husband. Her husband, Sam works all day and provides for them while she looks after the house.
Then suddenly one day, her husband disappears and MI5 accuse him of being a spy for the Soviets.
Molly has to set out to find the truth behind her husband's disappearance whilst at the same time learning to feel comfortable in herself and to do her own thing in life.
* Review *
I was expecting it to be a spy thriller but the novel is primarily about Molly and her transformation from a shy, timid person into a independent and liberated lady.
It is supposed to be set around about 1980 but I kept thinking it seemed more like the 1950's or early 1960's with all the prejudices around women. The women in this book aren't as independent as I would have thought they would have been in the 1980s. This may have something to do with the working class background of Molly.
I also couldn't relate to the Molly character as I don't think I am the target audience. Women who are housewives / stay at home mums in their 30's or 40's may likely enjoy this. Molly is a boring average housewife at the start of the book happy to clean the house and make her husband happy but once he disappears, she has to step out of her comfort zone and take charge of her life. There's a lot of emotional ups and downs for Molly as she enters and leaves different relationships along the way. The first half of the book is Molly going about her day to day life and it picks up in the second half with a few set pieces.
* Summary *
I have given this 2 stars. I didn't enjoy it and I can't recommend this for a general audience but maybe housewives of a certain age may enjoy this.
A Dalziel & Pascoe novel.