Book Review: The Last Wife by Karen Hamilton

“Two women. A dying wish. And a web of lies that will bring their world crashing down.”

The Last Wife by Karen Hamilton, published in 2020, follows two best friends, Nina and Marie. When Nina is diagnosed with a terminal illness, she asked Marie to fulfil her final wishes. But her mistake was in thinking Marie was someone she could trust. What Nina didn’t know was that Marie always wanted her beautiful life, and that Marie has an agenda of her own. She’ll do anything to get what she wants. Marie thinks she can keep her promise to her friend’s family on her own terms. But what she doesn’t know is that Nina was hiding explosive secrets of her own…


The Last Wife is a twisted story of obsession, jealousy, and secrets, caught in a tangled web of deceit. However, it’s more of a domestic drama than a suspenseful thriller, and all fell a little flat for me.

Although I quite enjoyed the set-up and sympathised with Marie for a short while, I’m left… I can’t even review this book properly. I’m just left a little baffled. The end has left me underwhelmed, confused, and disappointed, and my head still hurts from the final few chapters.

Marie is a difficult character to like and buy into. You know her motives have a sinister edge so it’s impossible to trust her. But you don’t know just how deceitful she is going to be, so you hold out a little hope for her, believing that her bad luck in life has put her on a path that she will come out better from on the other side.

But then you see how manipulative everyone around Marie is too, and there’s just so much going on that there’s nowhere safe to turn to, so I struggled to anchor my interest, intrigue, and eagerness to find out more.

Sadly, this one just wasn’t for me. I didn’t find the characters likeable or the story very plausible, and I’m struggling to remember what I liked about it at the start.

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