Get to the Point Book Reviews: It’s Always the Husband, by Michele Campbell

Book Review Rules.

The book may (or may not) work for me personally but that’s not to say it didn’t do wonders for (or fail) someone else.


It’s Always the Husband, by Michele Campbell

Would I recommend?

Not So Great Quotes (a first for my book reviews)

His skin tasted of salt and smelled warm, like the sun baking on a beach blanket. (p. 150)

Aubrey was the one whom Jenny had been worrying about on that account, ever since she’d threatened to expose Kate after finding out that Kate was sleeping with her husband. (p. 234)

She was always careful to include the Womacks in her big events – they’d come to her Labor Day party with their four kids and Val’s parents – even though they didn’t move in the upper echelons of the town like Jenny and TIm did. (p. 235)

The sound of the windchimes and birdsong filled the airy room, which smelled of exotic woods and incense and was heated to a tropical intensity. (p. 256)

The Goods

1. Excellent portrait of college life, the stereotypes, the expectations, the pressure. All well represented.

2. Kate and Aubrey were well-written characters, a lot of depth there.

The Not So Good

1. This novel was entirely too long only to learn that, yes indeed, the HUSBAND DID IT. Again, I don’t normally give away major plot points (Book Review Rules) as I feel it’s best that you, the reader, have more reason to explore a title than not. However, in the case of, It’s Always the Husband, I feel obligated to spare you the drudge.

2. The author concentrated heavily on the character’s (Kate, Aubrey, Jenny) pasts. Much of this novel is spent in the trio’s college years, leading up to a pivotal moment that could have been addressed in half the time. The characters were well plotted, the time spent in the past was unnecessary.

3. A third of the trio, Jenny, was captured well in the college years but not so well in the present. Jenny did not come across well as an adult, nevermind a mayor.

4. I expected more psychopathy from Aubrey. She was well set up for it and that interesting character potential ultimately went nowhere.

5. It’s Always the Husband is neither a thriller nor a suspense novel, it’s more like a very long explanation of events.

I take my “no” recommendations seriously. The above quotes caught my attention as being either unnecessary, drawn out, or lazy. The amount of time dedicated to the past set me up early on for low expectations. Everyone had a hand in Kate’s death (saw that coming, the dialogue was far too generous amongst the characters) but ultimately the husband did it. The end.

Feel free to share your opinions. Just because a novel did not work for me does not mean it won’t work for you.

From Amazon

Kate, Aubrey, and Jenny first met as college roommates and soon became inseparable, despite being as different as three women can be. Kate was beautiful, wild, wealthy, and damaged. Aubrey, on financial aid, came from a broken home, and wanted more than anything to distance herself from her past. And Jenny was a striver―brilliant, ambitious, and determined to succeed. As an unlikely friendship formed, the three of them swore they would always be there for each other.

But twenty years later, one of them is standing at the edge of a bridge, and someone is urging her to jump.

How did it come to this?

Kate married the gorgeous party boy, Aubrey married up, and Jenny married the boy next door. But how can these three women love and hate each other? Can feelings this strong lead to murder? When one of them dies under mysterious circumstances, will everyone assume, as is often the case,that it’s always the husband?


Christina Schmidt, MA