FOR BETTER AND WORSE | Margot Hunt
12.11.2018 | MIRA Books
Rating: 3/5 stars
Natalie and Will Clarke met in law school. On their first date they bonded over drinks, dinner, and planning the perfect murder. Chalking it up to just a fun exercise in using their lawyer minds to beat the system, Will thinks nothing of the conversation. Until now.
The couple have been married and raising their son in a well-off town. When news breaks that someone working in their son’s school has been accused of abusing a male student, Nat is convinced he will not receive the punishment he deserves. Working as a criminal defense attorney, Nat knows how broken the legal system can be and doesn’t trust it to keep her family safe from this man. When things hit too close to home, Nat believes it’s time to take justice into her own hands. Shocked, but unable to not get his hands dirty as well, Will stands by his wife’s side. Who is this woman he married?
When the police start investigating the Clarke family it becomes clear their airtight plan isn’t as perfectly planned as Nat believed. Can they get away with murder?
Believing anything in life is fated is just a way to avoid taking responsibility.
FOR BETTER AND WORSE is a slow-burn, family-focused work of crime fiction. If you’ve read the synopsis you know the way the story is going to play out immediately, but Hunt doesn’t get to the actual murder until around the halfway point of the book. This frustrated me. I found myself thinking “just get to the action already” several times. If the plot to get to the murder had been fun and exciting, I would have enjoyed the journey more, but I found it to focus more on school, work, and family drama that was connected to the crime than the actual crime. I love a slow-burn book, but this was too slow for my tastes.
The basis for this story is fantastic. It poses a great moral question: Could you kill someone if they hurt your child? I enjoyed the differing reactions between Will and Nat when deciding what they should do. One person’s mindset clearly overpowered the other, which I think is a plausible scenario. The actual act of the crime and the conclusion of the book…a little too far fetched for me. At the end of the day, I felt it was an easy ending. Despite not loving the direction of the ending, there was one part in the epilogue that I did particularly enjoy. It gave a nod to the darker side the story could have taken.
I’m not sure if this book fell short for me because my expectations were too high, because I listened to it as an audiobook, or because I’ve read so many similar stories. I think FOR BETTER OR WORSE would be great for someone who doesn’t spend a lot of time reading in the crime fiction genre. That audience would appreciate the twists and storyline more than someone like myself.
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