In this relentlessly paced novel of psychological suspense, New York Times bestselling author Michelle Richmond crafts an intense and shocking tale that asks: How far would you go to protect your marriage?
Newlyweds Alice and Jake are a picture-perfect couple. Alice, once a singer in a well-known rock band, is now a successful lawyer. Jake is a partner in an up-and-coming psychology practice. Their life together holds endless possibilities. After receiving an enticing wedding gift from one of Alice’s prominent clients, they decide to join an exclusive and mysterious group known only as The Pact.
The goal of The Pact seems simple: to keep marriages happy and intact. And most of its rules make sense. Always answer the phone when your spouse calls. Exchange thoughtful gifts monthly. Plan a trip together once per quarter. . . . Never mention The Pact to anyone.
Alice and Jake are initially seduced by the glamorous parties, the sense of community, their widening social circle of like-minded couples. And then one of them breaks the rules. The young lovers are about to discover that for adherents to The Pact, membership, like marriage, is for life. And The Pact will go to any lengths to enforce that rule. For Jake and Alice, the marriage of their dreams is about to become their worst nightmare.
Im going to start this out a little differently than I normally do as I have a bit of a warning for you before I get into my actual review. First of all, if you have problems suspending disbelief this is probably not the book for you. The entire concept of The Pact and how Alice and Jake wind up joining is pretty far fetched and unbelievable. Quick example, it’s a binding contract and they both sign it extremely quickly and with almost no hesitation. Did I mention Alice is a lawyer? BUT, if you can get past the probability of something like this actually taking place, then this book is highly entertaining and a whole lot of fun!
I’ve had a long fascination with cults and in particular as of late Scientology, as I’m a huge fan of Leah Remini’s documentary series about this strange “religion”. (Anyone else watch this?! Would love to chat) Anyway, as soon as the details of this marriage pact were discussed I was totally reminded of Scientology. It’s eerily similar in the massive list of rules and regulations members must follow and in several other ways as well, but I don’t want to spoil it by saying more. I was also getting a strong Stepford Wives vibe, which is such an odd combination, but honestly? It mostly worked really well for me. Yes, I had issues in the beginning believing anyone as intellectual as Jake and Alice were supposed to be would actually want to be a part of something as freaky as The Pact, but I’m so glad that I kept going as it ended up being the perfect balance of creepy, downright strange and highly disturbing.
Domestic suspense is one of my favorite sub genres, I tend to binge read these types of books as there’s something so addicting about martial strife. I’m always looking for a unique spin on things and this provided that in a few ways. The entire story is told from Jake’s perspective and I loved that as generally it seems to be the wife telling the tale. The other aspect that gave it a fresh feeling was that Jake and Alice were a united front fighting a common enemy. Normally the wife is usually searching for the truth about her husband or something similar and seeing a unified couple was great.
As much as I did binge read this, the pacing is kind of strange. Most of the chapters are on the short side with the exception of a select few, but it still was a heavy, dense read. Jake spends quite a bit of time doing a lot of self introspection and analyzation, so it almost breaks up the otherwise fast pacing and excitement of the current storyline. The ending was ambiguous, which is not my favorite, but it did work well here.
It sounds like I have quite a few complaints, and I guess I do, but I still really enjoyed this book. The whole thing is so bizarre, maybe my mixed reaction is an indication of just how bizarre this read actually was, I’m not exactly sure. I would recommend this to the right reader, I know some of my friends would hate it and others would love it, but I hope I’ve given you enough information to be able to decide for yourself if you’re interested or not.
Overall rating: 4/5