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A Reliable Wife

by Robert Goolrick


Ralph Truitt, a wealthy businessman, stands alone on a train platform waiting for the woman who answered his newspaper advertisement for "a reliable wife." It's mid winter in rural Wisconsin in 1909. Catherine Land has her own agenda...she plans to use the arsenic she brought with her to kill her new husband and become a wealthy widow.  She didn't count on the dark secrets that her new husband is harboring, or his own plans for his bride.

In a tale of passion and seduction, crime and madness, Catherine and Ralph have both been wounded  in the past, and both long for what life has denied them. Catherine's deceit knows no bounds as she agrees to help Ralph search for his estranged son. The plot is complex, as they both react to each other's longings, and builds to an unbelievable level of psychological suspense when the man who may be Truitt's son comes home. This story was much more than I expected.  Goolrick's imagination is unparalleled, his writing mesmerizing.  I would expect this fascinating novel to move quickly to bestseller's a winner, and a story that  I will never forget. I will certainly be watching for more from this promising new writer.

The Book

Algonquin Books
March 31, 2009
1-56512-596-7 / 978-1-56512-596-4
Historical Fiction / rural Wisconsin in 1909
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The Reviewer

Beverly J. Rowe
Reviewed 2009
NOTE: Reviewer Beverly J. Rowe is's "Babes to Teens" columnist, covering topics related to reading ideas for the youth in the family.
© 2009