Review: The Perfect Husband – Lisa Gardner

lisa gardner the perfect husband book cover

FBI Profiler Series – Quincy #1

Theresa Beckett escaped her abusive family and married a monster. A monster she had no idea existed until she shared her “I do”, and he stepped in and started to ruin her life, the evil that she had known seemingly much better than the evil she was now lumped in with. Jim Beckett is attractive, a respected man of the community, a police officer and completely in love with Theresa. That is the image that he portrays. After the wedding, her life is picked apart by Jim, who will break her down until she is no more. Though he assumed control of her life and moulded her into exactly what he wanted, she started to grow suspicious of his outings, his shifts as a police officer and the method he used to injure her. After having their first baby, Samantha, Theresa is horrified to learn that Jim expects her to have another child, and the suggestion crops up but two months after Sam’s birth.

Years later, Theresa’s name is now Tess Williams and she forces her way onto J.T. Dillon’s property in Nogales, Arizona, adamant that the mercenary train her. He is a drunk, sarcastic and prickly, nasty and completely disinterested in what she has to say. However, Tess is determined to learn how to defend herself. She will never again fall prey to her husband or men like him, and needs to protect herself from him this time. Jim has bust out of prison and is on the run after being convicted a serial killer and responsible for the brutal rape and murder of ten women, and Tess is positive that he will come after her again to finish the job this time. Special Agent Pierce Quincy of the FBI is sure that, being a pure psychopath, Jim will need to restore his ego and teach Tess a lesson. This time, however, Tess will not have to face the monster alone. The police will be there. Tess has no faith in that, seeing as last time their protection basically left her to be killed.

J.T.’s mostly estranged sister Marion MacAllister turns up and intrudes on the couple, Tess just having convinced J.T. to train her, though he is under the assumption that her real name is not Angela, as she so simply put out there, and is sure that there is more to the story than she is letting on. Marion and J.T. argue constantly, butting heads over their past that Marion will not acknowledge and that J.T. refuses to let go of. J.T. relents and pushes Tess to train hard, and with Marion’s incessant snooping, she makes the discovery of Tess’s real identity. J.T. hears who she is, and realises how much trouble Tess is actually in, and redoubles his efforts to get her ready on time, and now realises why she has refuses police protection for herself, though she placed Sam with Lieutenant Lance Difford, who will keep her baby safe.

Jim is on a warpath, intent on finding his traitorous wife, and leaves a body count in his wake. Quincy is trying his damndest to stay on top of Jim’s movements and predictions to ensue as to where he will be next. Will he be able to work out Jim’s pattern? Will he be able to find out where Jim holed himself up the last time they attempted to hunt him down, the place that kept him hidden for six months before he made his fatal move on Tess? Will J.T. be able to train Tess in time? Will this terrible fear and cruelty end now what with Tess preparing to fight her husband? Will Jim be recaptured and returned to prison? What is the budding relationship between Tess and J.T. going to turn into? Will J.T. and Marion ever sort out their disdain for one another, find their way back to each other?

GRADE 6Based on the title alone this is not something I would ever have picked up from the shelves. However, a friend highly recommended it if I enjoyed Tess Gerritsen, so I decided to check it out. I thoroughly enjoyed the story and Jim Beckett was sufficiently nuts to keep you involved. Everyone seemed to have a terrible screwed up and emotional past with dreadful occurrences, but that was fine. Marion’s blind loyalty to the colonel was sickening. I must say though that at times the relationship between J.T. and Tess annoyed the hell out of me. It was stunted and strange, jumping around inexplicably. She arrived at his home distraught, angry and on a mission, and virtually from the off he is thinking about sex and she is thinking about returning it. A woman with the type of experience with men that she had is not going to be jumping the first guy she claps eyes on. I don’t know, I thought there was a lot of unnecessary sex written into the story, though if you look beyond that the story is very solid, decently written and presented and incredibly interesting. Jim Beckett was quite the evil, dark, messed up and resourceful man, and seeing the things that he would get up to kept me reading. It isn’t a bad book, and if you can just skip through the useless sex scenes, you will get a rather good story that is worth checking out.  It is the first Lisa Gardner book that I have ever read, and it was sufficient enough to have me check out some more.