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All booksThrillerPretty Little Wife
Pretty Little Wife by Darby Kane

Pretty Little Wife

We love supporting debut authors. Congrats, Darby Kane, on your first book!
Early Release
This is an early release that's only available to our members—the rest of the world has to wait 'til next month to read it.

by Darby Kane

Quick take

Till death do us part gets a whole new meaning in this twisted domestic suspense about a dead husband gone missing.

Good to know

  • Illustrated icon, Icon_FastRead

    Fast read

  • Illustrated icon, Icon_400

    400+ pages

  • Illustrated icon, Icon_Creepy


  • Illustrated icon, Icon_MarriageIssues

    Marriage issues

Why I love it

Julie Clark
Author, The Last Flight

I budgeted two weeks to read Pretty Little Wife, which is funny because I devoured it in two days. I don’t want to say too much but this book has it all, including a protagonist who is keeping secrets and characters who all—for some reason or another—fall under suspicion, and maybe not even for the murder. We (may) already know who did that.

Lila Ridgefield isn’t who she says she is, but that doesn’t make her unreliable. It means she hasn’t told us all of her secrets yet. But one secret we know right away: Lila killed her husband Aaron, setting it up to look like a suicide. Much to her surprise, his body immediately goes missing. Did Aaron really die? If so, then who moved him? Suddenly, all hell has broken loose.

This is the type of thriller I love the most: A taut domestic suspense with just a shade of police procedural woven in. There are so many layers and so many questions about marriage, shame, and the power dynamics that animate our most dysfunctional relationships. Through it all, Pretty Little Wife asks: How far would you go to right a wrong?

Read less


Lila Ridgefield lives in an idyllic college town, but not everything is what it seems. Lila isn’t what she seems. A student vanished months ago. Now, Lila’s husband, Aaron, is also missing. At first these cases are treated as horrible coincidences until it’s discovered the student is really the third of three unexplained disappearances over the last few years. The police are desperate to find the connection, if there even is one. Little do they know they might be stumbling over only part of the truth….

With the small town in an uproar, everyone is worried about the whereabouts of their beloved high school teacher. Everyone except Lila, his wife. She’s definitely confused about her missing husband but only because she was the last person to see his body, and now it’s gone.

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Get an early look from the first pages of Pretty Little Wife.

Member thoughts

All (26520)
All (26520)
Love (14592)
Like (10793)
Dislike (1135)
26735 ratings
  • 55% Love
  • 40% Like
  • 4% Dislike
  • New York, NY

    Like Mr and Mrs Smith if they both were psychopaths...surrounded by other psychopaths. The ending was a little predictable but I loved getting there and looked forward to every single page. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

  • Vestavia Hills, AL

    ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️I zoomed through this book- on accident! The end of most chapters almost always lured me into starting the next one immediately. Thrilling, but not scary. Feminist-esque. Enjoyable thriller!

  • Middlefield, CT

    Couldn’t put this book down! So many twists and turns, I didn’t want to stop reading until I knew how what happened all worked out (sorry to be vague here - but I don’t want spoilers)’. Loved it!!!!!

  • Dearborn, MI

    Just when you think you’ve figured this one out, you’d be wrong. Loved this suspenseful what happened to the body novel. It’s a different take because you already know who’s the killer but the rest?

  • Jersey City, NJ

    Get away with murder and be a hero at the same time is a good recipe for a mystery. Strong story line, gripping plot, smart detective, smarter murderer and the chase ends with a serial killer. ???? 5 ⭐️

  • Portland, OR

    Isn’t a dead husband supposed to stay dead? Follow Lila, who knows her husband is dead, but his body ends up going missing, what’s going on? This thriller was one that I couldn’t put down, a must read

  • Fitchburg, MA

    I enjoyed the portrayal of the main character & thought it refreshing to see a woman who wasn’t falling apart or painted as “crazy”. Also loved the setting but may be biased because I grew up there.

  • Star Prairie, WI

    Absolutely loved this book! I couldn’t put it down! I stayed up late reading it and woke up early to finish the book! Everything kept me intrigued and I didn’t want it to end!! I truly enjoyed it!!!!!

  • Missoula, MT

    I enjoyed the “whodunnit” domestic abuse vibe that is original to other thrillers. The two sided narrative from the possibly guilty protagonist and the investigating officer left a brilliant balance.

  • San Antonio, TX

    I don’t usually breeze through books in a matter of days, but this was one I didn’t want to put down. Some plot points may have been a little convenient, but this story kept me guessing until the end!

  • Alpharetta , GA

    A great, quick read. Loved the way each chapter ended with you wanting more. I did not get the “Gone Girl” vibe as other reviewers suggested, so I would not advise going in with those expectations.

  • Greenville, NC

    Wow, I definitely didn’t see that coming! This book kept me on the edge of my seat and was told in a very mysterious way. I had no idea what was coming! Toward the end, I pieced it together but wow!

  • Walhalla, SC

    All anyone even slightly interested in reading this book needs to know is that it is 400 pages long & I read it in a single sitting. “Pretty Little Wife” more than earned its label of “Thriller”.

  • Ballwin, MO

    This book consumed my thoughts! When I wasn’t reading it, all I could think about was when can I get back to reading. Ginny is my hero but kudos to Lila for shining the spotlight on whom it should go.

  • New Albany, OH

    This book was great & left me guessing till the very end. There are so many parts to the story & I loved that. I do feel like it could’ve been about 100 pages shorter, though as it was a bit drug out.

  • Fort Worth , TX

    This book was such a good read. The plot twist was another “whaaat”!! All in all I really enjoyed reading this! The details/descriptions were great, I loved playing the “book movie” in my head.

  • Vancouver , WA

    I couldn’ put this book down. I finished it within 24hrs of starting. I was hooked by the second page. The characters are well developed, story line was suspenseful, and the ending wasnt predictable.

  • Clearwater, FL

    4.5⭐ This one got me from the beginning. You find out early on that Lila killed her husband and you know why. So, what more can possibly happen? So.much.more! This had me guessing right up to the end!

  • Knightdale, NC

    Great storyline and the author’s writing was top notch. Like the main character, she very carefully uses her words as to not give anything away. Because the writing is so good, the twist is surprising

  • Madison, WI

    This was such a delightful read and so different from other the other thrillers out there that focus on the wife/female. Darby Kane took this book down a slightly slipperier slope and I’m here for it!

  • Too Good to Be True
  • The Push
  • The Collective
  • The Last Thing He Told Me
  • The Damage
  • 56 Days
  • We Were Never Here
  • Everything We Didn't Say
  • The Last Flight
  • The Night She Disappeared
  • Not a Happy Family
  • The Wife Upstairs
  • Rock Paper Scissors
  • The Maidens
  • A Flicker in the Dark
  • Razorblade Tears
  • Reckless Girls
  • Winter Counts
  • Silverview
  • The Woman in the Window
  • The Hunting Party
  • The Silent Patient
  • Goodnight Beautiful
  • The Hunting Wives
  • Pretty Little Wife
  • The Guest List
  • Invisible Girl
  • Girl A
  • Behind Her Eyes
  • The Girl in the Mirror
  • The Night Swim
  • Before She Knew Him
  • Then She Was Gone
  • You Are Not Alone
  • The Family Upstairs
  • The Wife Between Us
  • Into the Water
  • Gone Girl
  • Dark Places
  • The Alienist
  • Since We Fell
  • The Blinds
  • Cross Her Heart
  • The Winter Sister
  • The Other Woman
  • Necessary People