From the publisher:
What makes Simon Fitch so perfect?
-He knows all her favorite foods, music, and movies.
-Her son adores him. He was there when she needed him most.
-He anticipates her every need.
-He would never betray her like her first husband.
The perfect husband. He checks all the boxes.
The question is, why?
Nina Garrity learned the hard way that her missing husband, Glen, had been leading a double life with another woman. But with Glen gone―presumably drowned while fishing on his boat―she couldn’t confront him about the affair or find closure to the life he blew apart.
Now, a year and a half later, Nina has found love again and hopes she can put her shattered world back together. Simon, a widower still grieving the death of his first wife, thinks he has found his dream girl in Nina, and his charm and affections help break through to a heart hardened by betrayal. Nina’s teenage son, Connor, embraces Simon as the father he wishes his dad could have been, while her friends see a different side to him, and they aren’t afraid to use the word obsession.
Nina works hard to bridge the divide that’s come between her daughter and Simon. She wants so badly to believe her life is finally getting back on track, but she’ll soon discover that the greatest danger to herself and her children are the lies people tell themselves.
D.J. Palmer is a pen name for Daniel Palmer, an author of many highly engrossing novels and the son of Michael Palmer, who was noted as a writer of engrossing medical thrillers. In this current book, Palmer skillfully introduces several flawed characters that are more realistic than many protagonists that have no faults. His people are faced with an overwhelming crisis and working to face them while in the process of convincing themselves that they are correct in what they are doing in spite of the pressure of others.
Nina Garrity married with two children is faced with the desertion of her husband Glen and also the possible fact that he may have left to be with another woman. They have had their differences as do most couples but had stayed together. Almost two years after her husband has left, she accepts the advances of Simon Fitch, a man that coincidentally teaches at the middle school that her daughter attends. Her reason for accepting Simon’s advances is that in spite of never finding her husband’s body, she considers herself a widow. Glen, her husband, had apparently drowned while out fishing when the boat he was on was discovered with Daisy, the family dog, sitting covered with blood and muddied up.
Simon convinces Nina that he recognizes that it is too soon to marry, but suggests they buy a house together and move into it in order to move towards becoming a family. In spite of the advice against this move as being too soon by both Nina’s parents and two of her best friends, they move in. Nina’s son is a football player at the school and immediately becomes friendly with Simon. Her daughter does not, quickly finding fault with him and claiming that she has secretly seen him with a very dark look on his face that frightens her. Simon on his part begins to court Nina in earnest to solidify their relationship by getting married.
The actions and reactions of the persona towards events is a major factor of the novel making it a great read and one continuing the Palmer family’s legacy of superb books. Very well done.
4/2020 Paul Lane
THE NEW HUSBAND by D.J. Palmer. St. Martin’s Press (April 14, 2020). ISBN: 978-1250107497. 384p.