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Monday, January 14, 2019

#ATBR2019 Review: As Long As We Both Shall Live by Joann Chaney @joann_chaney @flatironbooks

As Long As We Both Shall Live 
by Joann Chaney

Thanks so Flatiron Books for these amazing review copies - Jessica and I are starting strong for our All The Book Reviews reads for 2019.  Continue below to see what we thought of this crazy ass story.

Publisher: Flatiron Books
Publish Date: January 15, 2019
336 Pages
Genres: Thriller, Mystery

What happens when you're really, truly done making your marriage work? You can't be married to someone without sometimes wanting to bash them over the head...As Long As We Both Shall Live is JoAnn Chaney's wicked, masterful examination of a marriage gone very wrong, a marriage with lots of secrets...

"My wife! I think she's dead!" Matt frantically tells park rangers that he and his wife, Marie, were hiking when she fell off a cliff into the raging river below. They start a search, but they aren't hopeful: no one could have survived that fall. It was a tragic accident.

But Matt's first wife also died in suspicious circumstances. And when the police pull a body out of the river, they have a lot more questions for Matt.

Detectives Loren and Spengler want to know if Matt is a grieving, twice-unlucky husband or a cold-blooded murderer. They dig into the couple's lives to see what they can unearth. And they find that love's got teeth, it's got claws, and once it hitches you to a person, it's tough to rip yourself free.

So what happens when you're done making it work?

My Review:

"If you try to kill your wife without a plan, you will fail.  There are plenty of assholes who do just that, men who decide to murder their significant other on the spur of the moment because they're angry or drunk or jealous or just plain tired of the nagging or they don't want to go through the hassle of a divorce, and they get caught.  They always get caught."

And with that beginning, I was hooked and found myself spiraling my way into this crazy read.  Men are known to be aggressive, conniving and manipulative at times.  Cheating on their wives, making their wives feel they are going crazy and start questioning themselves. They think they're so clever.. but really, it's the women you don't want to piss off.  Women are patient, calculating and when they have their minds set to something... well, you don't want to be on the bad side of their anger.

When in a relationship for a long time, particularly a marriage, things can start to get dull, complacent.  The cute things you loved at the beginning are now nothing more than tingles under the skin that get more and more irritating.  But then there are moments where you remember why you married that person... why you fell in love with them.  And those are the things you grasp onto... for better or worse, that's a marriage, no?  Matt and Marie take a hiking trip - a romantic trip to try and flame the embers of their long dilapidated marriage.  Next thing you know Marie has fallen off the side of a cliff.  Matt's wife has died... again.  This isn't his first marriage where his wife has died and he has been exonerated.  But where does the truth begin when the lies start to fall apart around him?

This book is all over the place but in a good way.  I really enjoyed Spengler - and the advice her mom gives her "You squeeze all their balls now." Maybe I related to her because we're both 1/2 Korean and I understood the hassles she went through.  I can only imagine how hard it is to be in the law enforcement field as a woman who doesn't get taken seriously enough.  Her bite made me giggle on more than one occasion.  I'm not sure if the background or side story within that field was really necessary but I also enjoyed it - along with the camaraderie between her and Loren.

There's a lot going on within this story. I found myself going AHA at around page 180 thinking I knew what was going to happen and I was half right... which hell, I gave myself a pat on the back for.  But nope - it went just a tiny bit in a different direction.  

Look, for avid thriller readers, this will be nothing too new.  However, this is most definite binge worthy read.  Short chapters, page turners and well, damn... I do love some crazy ass people so for me, pure love for this story.  I also enjoyed the different headings for each section. Kept me singing in my head - like I need more noise there. 😉


Jessica's Review:

The first pages had me instantly hooked - "If you try to kill your wife without a plan, you will fail." Talk about an opening sentence. AS LONG AS WE BOTH SHALL LIVE by JoAnn Chaney was an ironically timed read for me. Started and finished it the day I picked out my wedding dress. This was a total binge read and I only put it down because it was 1am and I was falling asleep.

Matt and Marie's marriage is hitting a rough patch. Everything they once loved about each other are now irritating and they find themselves resenting each other rather than loving the other. A nice trip away together should help, right? Well, things take a turn for the worse when Marie falls off a cliff on a hike. A tragic accident, or is it? This isn't the first time a wife of Matt's has turned up dead, is this a pattern or just horrible accidents?
We seem to bounce all over the place but not in a way that confuses you or loses you in the story. Plenty of twists throughout the book and the short chapters kept me flipping through. I read chapter to chapter, so when they're so short I fall victim to the "oh, only 5 pages? I can do one more chapter." cycle. I also enjoyed the chapter names, like my buddy reader, Chandra, I found myself singing them in my head a few times. 

Overall, this is a solid thriller. Plenty to keep you on your toes and really well-written crazy characters. Despite the horrible things men can do to their wives - cheating, manipulating them and causing paranoia - you never want to underestimate the power of a woman on a mission. I would definitely recommend this one to be on your winter TBR.

4/5 stars

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