A Circle of Wives: Book summary and reviews of A Circle of Wives by Alice LaPlante

A Circle of Wives

by Alice LaPlante

A Circle of Wives
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  • Published in USA  Mar 2014
    325 pages
    Genre: Thrillers

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Book Summary

When Dr. John Taylor is found dead in a hotel room in his hometown, the local police find enough incriminating evidence to suspect foul play. Detective Samantha Adams, whose Palo Alto beat usually covers small-town crimes, is innocently thrown into a high-profile murder case that is more intricately intertwined than she could ever imagine. A renowned plastic surgeon, a respected family man, and an active community spokesman, Dr. Taylor was loved and admired. But, hidden from the public eye, he led a secret life - in fact, multiple lives. A closeted polygamist, Dr. Taylor was married to three very different women in three separate cities. And when these three unsuspecting women show up at his funeral, suspicions run high. Adams soon finds herself tracking down a murderer through a web of lies and marital discord.

With a rare combination of gripping storytelling, vivid prose, and remarkable insight into character, Alice LaPlante brings to life a story of passion and obsession that will haunt readers long after they turn the final page. A charged and provocative psychological thriller, A Circle of Wives dissects the dynamics of love and marriage, trust and jealousy, posing the terrifying question: How well do you really know your spouse?

An Indie Next Pick for March 2014

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"If one can set aside the implausibility of the plot - a high profile doctor married to three intelligent women, two of whom live a few miles apart from each other, and all of whom know his true name and where he works; and believe that two of them could really remain oblivious of the fact that he has been married to someone else for years, and still is, then the story is okay. But sadly, this reader was unable to get past this fundamental plot flaw, that might have been credible if set in the Bay Area 30 years ago, but not in today's super-connected Silicon Valley." - BookBrowse

"LaPlante's engrossing second thriller... explores love, loss, control, the influence of past relationships, and passion... Captivating." - Publishers Weekly

"A page-turner that also offers much ironic commentary on the dynamics of love and marriage, emphasizing the great mystery at the heart of any romantic relationship." - Booklist

"In this literary character study built on a mystery's framework, LaPlante ingeniously constructs characters distinct and original." - Kirkus

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Reader Reviews

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dpfaef

disappointing....
Alice LaPlante’s first novel Turn of Mind was excellent, Circle of Wives not so much. There is so much about this book I disliked I don’t know where to begin. First of all, I did not like any of the characters – they were swallow and self-centered, even the good Doctor came off as an oaf.

There is nothing redeeming about this book, it was simply a boring story about a man who was unhappy in his marriage and proceeded to go out and marries two more women, none of the wives except for the first wife know about one another. Surprise the good doctor is found dead in a hotel room and foul play is suspected. Enter Samantha Adams the rookie detective assigned to the case and another totally unlikable character, she blunders her way through this book like a bull in a china cabinet.

I am still trying to figure out how a successful reconstructive surgeon had time for three wives, one of which he had to report home to every morning at 5:00am.

All and all not an enjoyable read.

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Author Information

Alice LaPlante Author Biography

Photo credit: Anne Knudsen

Alice LaPlante is an award-winning writer who teaches at San Francisco State University and Stanford University, where she was awarded a Wallace Stegner Fellowship and held a Jones Lectureship. Raised in Chicago, she now lives with her family in Northern California.

Author Interview
Link to Alice LaPlante's Website

Name Pronunciation
Alice LaPlante: La Plant (the final 'e' is silent)

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