The Other Wife by Michael Robotham

‘Understanding human behaviour doesn’t make life any easier.’

Joe O’Loughlin receives a call, advising that his father is in hospital in a coma. His wife is by his side. Joe rushes to the hospital to find a strange woman by his father’s side. Who is she? Joe’s parents William and Mary have been married for sixty years: he was a celebrated surgeon, she was a devoted wife and mother. So, who is this woman crying by William’s bedside? Who attacked William O’Loughlin, and why?

While Joe often assists the police in his role as a clinical psychologist, this is not a case he should be involved in. Joe has ordered her from the room, but he is determined to find out more about her. Joe’s investigation, assisted by his friend former policeman Vincent Ruiz, uncovers some uncomfortable truths.

While Joe is trying to find out more about his father’s mysterious double life, he’s dealing with several issues of his own. His twelve-year-old daughter Emma is struggling, and his older daughter Charlie returns home from university to help. Joe is still grieving the loss of his wife and grappling with the increasing impact of Parkinson’s Disease on his life.

The more Joe digs into his father’s past, the more difficult it becomes to reconcile the father he thought he knew with the man he is learning about. There are few twists in this story, and more than a few people with reason to want to harm William O’Loughlin.

What can I say about this novel? I thoroughly enjoyed it and while I thought I’d worked out who injured William O’Loughlin and why, I was wrong.

‘A week ago, my father was the great provider and part of a medical dynasty. Now he’s a bigamist and an adulterer who may never recover his faculties.’

This is the ninth book in Michael Robotham’s Joe O’Loughlin series. Highly recommended.

Jennifer Cameron-Smith