After the murder of her husband, a trusting wife learns that nearly everything about his life was a lie. When Juliet Cole's husband is murdered right in front of her, it seems to be a random event. But as the hours and days pass, it's clear that there were things about her husband Bob that she didn't know. Aided by her sisters and police officer brother Max, she begins to look through his papers and phone and discovers he had a secret life. Despite his seemingly happy family and his love for Juliet and their two sons, he had a young son with a woman who worked in his office.
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Even worse, two FBI agents question her and she learns that Bob was being investigated for drug smuggling. He also seems to have several previously unknown bank accounts with tens of millions of dollars as well as several other businesses and a luxury house. Juliet can't believe what she's uncovered and when her older son Zach overhears a conversation she is having with the FBI, he accuses her of trashing his father's reputation.
Juliet confronts Amber, the young woman Bob had been seeing and she begins to suspect Amber might have been part of the drug ring. It turns out she had been and Amber and her accomplice Miller killed Bob because he was getting cold feet about their plans. They want the money in Bob's bank account and access to his luxury home where several million in cash is stored in a safe. Miller and his brothers kidnap Juliet's kids and force her to cooperate to save her loved ones.
She gives them access to the safe and is able to find the account info and transfer the funds to Amber. Max and his sisters are able to track down Amber and the location of the kids and brother Michael overpowers Miller and the van of cash he's driving to the hideout. In the ensuing shootout, the kids are rescued, Amber is killed and Michael is severely injured. In the confusion, Miller escapes with the van and the cash and disappears.
Once things settle down, Juliet decides to give the money from the back accounts to charity. She also decides to adopt Amber's young child, the son of her murdered husband Bob.
Best part of story, including ending:
The frustrating thing about the story is that the first 80% is very well-constructed and it makes for a great read. Even when you know the identities of the bad guys, there are still lots of twists and turns. But it all falls apart at the end and you're left with a bad feeling when it's all over.
Best scene in story:
My favorite scene is the one in which Juliet is forced to face the fact that her husband of fifteen years had been living a life she knew nothing about. He had another family, a crime-filled secret life that couldn't have been further from the man she thought she knew.
Opinion about the main character:
For most of the book Juliet Cole is passively responding to everything she's learning about her husband. She's shocked and dismayed, but she just seems to be sleepwalking through a lot of it, which is extremely frustrating.