Monday, January 29, 2018

Book Review: 'The Dispensable Wife' by A.B. Plum


California author AB Plum grew up in Southern Missouri and has lived in Mexico, Bolivia, Argentina and now the Silicon Valley of California. After grad school, and with her fascination with neuroanatomy and behavioral psychology, she taught adolescent boys, created public library programs, and honed her fiction-writing skills developing high-tech marketing materials. A six-month leave of absence to write fiction that entertains turned into a full-time career. PRINCE OF FROGS and QUEEN of the UNIVERSE, romantic comedies, were her first published novels. Two romantic suspense novels followed: PRESUMED GUILTY and UNRAVELED. She now writes her passion—psychological suspense. Three novellas and three novels comprise her first series, THE MISFIT. Ever wonder about the twisted childhood of Hannibal Lector? Read the novellas and meet Michael Romanov—different, destructively different from birth. Ever wonder about the pernicious influence of a grown-up misfit? Read the novels and follow the consequences of Michael Romanov’s conviction of his uniqueness. Her dark, psychological thrillers probe the impact of the family on wounded hearts. She still holds public librarians in high esteem.

Plum writes psychological thrillers as well as any author anytime! Her fascination with behavioral psychology has aided her in creating the misfits, those abnormal people who simply don’t fit into society as most of us live it – the cluster of people of this disorder seems to be multiplying at present. But Plum uses these created beings to tell a story that is almost blindingly believable. For a peek into this book just look at the cover; so much is there without words. Or as Plum’s little statement puts t, ‘Eyes are everywhere. Multi-millionaire, high-tech icon, Michael Romanov demands total compliance with this mantra from his three model children and his unstable wife. When he discovers her flirting over coffee in a very public place with an obvious loser, he makes certain the see-all, tell-all witness never breathes a word.’ And so we enter the world of THE DISPENSIBLE WIFE. ‘Ahhh, the musky smell of testosterone.’

Plum has the ability to stand inside the mind of her misfits, offering us the crucial vantage to understand why the chosen character is so odd. As she states in her well-sculpted synopsis, ‘Look at the recently toppled powerbrokers in Hollywood, Washington, and Silicon Valley. Eyes somewhere saw their stupidity. From eyes to mouth to headlines. When iconic Silicon Valley CEO Michael Romanov discovers his cheating wife flirting in public with an obvious loser, he tears her apart. But he slices and dices her with such civility none of the coffee drinkers notice. They’re too in awe of the legend’s presence. One busybody, though, picks up immediately on his controlled fury. Sly as a fox, she begins to share her observations of his wife’s past trysts. She can’t believe that the “older gentleman” so often with AnnaSophia isn’t her husband. The more the witness divulges, the more she proclaims her discretion. Ready to explode, Michael sets a trap she walks into. That trap will render her permanently discreet. Three children. An ailing father. No work history for the past fifteen years. No friends. No money. Despair keeps AnnaSophia shackled to a charismatic wolf in designer clothing. She has no hope to escape his hold. In a divorce, he’ll take the kids and let her father die. Every day, she lives in dread of igniting Michael’s short fuse. When he shows up at the coffee shop, she fears for her yoga instructor’s life as well as for her own. His revenge is surprisingly mild. Then, she learns of the murder of the girl in the coffee shop.’

Brilliant writing from a thoroughgoing professional. She just gets better as the pages turn. Grady Harp, December 17






Editor's note: This review has been published with the permission of Grady Harp. Like what you read? Subscribe to the SFRB's free daily email notice so you can be up-to-date on our latest articles. Scroll up this page to the sign-up field on your right.

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