Thursday, July 13, 2017

The Marriage Pact by Michelle Richmond

Holy Moly! It's been three days since I posted a review! I'm usually a pretty fast reader, but a combination of life getting in the way and a rather lengthy book took me a little longer than usual. Today, I finished Michelle Richmond's upcoming Psychological Thriller, The Marriage Pact and I had to take a bit to think about this one.

Momma Says: 3 out of 5 stars⭐⭐⭐

The Marriage Pact is well-written in first person POV with the story being told entirely from the perspective of main character, Jake. It certainly fits into the Psychological Thriller genre, but it does require a suspension of belief as the story progresses.

Newlyweds Alice and Jake are a picture-perfect couple. Alice, once a singer in a well-known rock band, is now a successful lawyer. Jake is a partner in an up-and-coming psychology practice. Their life together holds endless possibilities. After receiving an enticing wedding gift from one of Alice’s prominent clients, they decide to join an exclusive and mysterious group known only as The Pact.

The goal of The Pact seems simple: to keep marriages happy and intact. And most of its rules make sense. Always answer the phone when your spouse calls. Exchange thoughtful gifts monthly. Plan a trip together once per quarter. . . .

Never mention The Pact to anyone.

Alice and Jake are initially seduced by the glamorous parties, the sense of community, their widening social circle of like-minded couples.

And then one of them breaks the rules.

The young lovers are about to discover that for adherents to The Pact, membership, like marriage, is for life. And The Pact will go to any lengths to enforce that rule.

For Jake and Alice, the marriage of their dreams is about to become their worst nightmare.


Michelle Richmond is, without a doubt, a talented writer with a gift for storytelling. That said, I did have some problems with this particular tale.

The Marriage Pact started out well enough, it was suspenseful and gripping. The problem was that I kept feeling like I had read something similar. Then, it hit me. The idea of the marriage pact was different, but the fundamentals, the lengths the people behind the pact would go to achieve their goals, were very reminiscent of a Stephen King short story from the late 70's, one that was also featured later in a movie anthology. 
I decided to let that go and just enjoy the story for what it was, but again, much like King's work from around that same period, the story veers off several times with extraneous details that, in my opinion, were nothing more than a distraction. 
As mentioned, the story is a Psychological Thriller and as I said earlier, it does require quite the suspension of belief. It is certainly creepy at times will have a reader's heart racing, but once the people behind the pact take action, there isn't much in the way of realism. 
Jake and Alice are both educated people in their 30's. He's a therapist and she's a lawyer. To say too much would give spoilers, but I found myself unable to envision any circumstance that would have these two educated adults succumbing to the dictates of pact rules and punishment - a fact that had me rolling my eyes through much of the story. 
That said, there was a interesting twist at the end that I certainly didn't see coming, one that is the reason for that third star in my rating. 
Of course, this is just one person's opinion, so if you enjoy Psychological Thrillers, by all means, check this one out. I will say that the author's writing style and talent are such that this one book will not deter me from reading future books by her. 

The Marriage Pact releases on July 25, 2017 and is available for pre-order at the following links.

*Advanced Reader Copy provided by Netgally and Random House Publishing Group - Ballantine

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