Book Reviews

Perfect Cracks: The Marriage Betrayal by Shalini Boland @ShaliniBoland @bookouture #BookonTour

Saturdays are a good choice to lose yourself in a strong psychological thriller! Guess what, I have one for you!

My biggest thanks to Kim and Bookouture for inviting me to be part of the tour and for providing me with a copy.

The-Marriage-Betrayal-Kindle.jpgTitle: The Marriage Betrayal
Author: Shalini Boland
Date of publication:  8th July 2019
Publisher: Bookouture
Format: e-ARC
Number of pages: 273

‘Daddy has been lying.’

Faye Townsend has planned the perfect summer trip for her family. But returning to the small seaside town her husband grew up in does not go to plan, the rain pours and the long days become stifling. And then the unthinkable happens…

Her husband Jake and her six-year-old son Dylan go for an early morning walk along the beautiful, windswept clifftops. They don’t come back.

As the hours tick by, Dylan’s red baseball cap is found on the beach and Faye finds herself being questioned by the police. They want to know everything about the man she married – is Faye ready to face her husband’s dark past? Or will she have to confront her own secrets first?

And just how far will a mother go to save her only child?

From the million-copy-bestselling author of The Secret Mother and The Perfect Family, this utterly gripping psychological thriller will make you gasp out loud as you race towards the unforgettable twist. If you loved The Girl on the Train and The Wife Before You this book is for you.


The Marriage Betrayal is like a liqueur chocolate. You think you know what you’ve picked, but the scrumptious flavours melting on your tongue take you by surprise. The first layer is sweet. It takes its time and tickles your taste buds. The second part is crunchy, it plays with your teeth, it adds an edge before releasing the explosive and unexpected cherry, bittersweet and irresistible.

Faye and her brother-in-law Tom have planned a surprise birthday trip for her husband. Right away, I knew something would go wrong. When will people learn that surprises are NOT a good idea??? I am not a fan of them, and Tom seemed to share my opinion, according to his behavior when they reached his childhood village. What was supposed to be a relaxing time with their son Dylan, Jake’s sister Lainy, and her daughters, didn’t raise the excitation and joy expected.

Within the first pages, the place itself became part of the family. Settling in an old house full of shadows and creaking sounds opened the doors to a disturbing feeling. I couldn’t pinpoint what was off, but I didn’t feel comfortable! One chapter and I was already questioning everything. Why did Jake and Lainy looked as if they’d rather be at the dentist than where they’d grown up? Why had Faye chosen this place? What was going on??

It is extremely difficult to foresee what you will find in any novel by Shalini Boland and once again, I was pulled in by an invisible hand. The author’s addictive writing filled with mystery had my undivided attention.

The slow beginning allowed me to get to know the main characters. I joined them on their little trip, feeling the uneasiness, the tension, and the missed opportunity of a good family time. To an external eye, the family might have looked normal, spending quality time away from London, but the siblings’ reaction to the vacation erased the good intentions behind it. The situation gets worse when people start recognizing them, adding more strain on everyone. What could have happened there for Jake and Lainy to feel so strongly about being here?? I wasn’t shocked to hear them decide to leave, but not without Tom and Dylan enjoying a father-son moment. When they failed to come back from their morning adventure, my stomach churned. After having played with my mind, Shalini Boland was going for my feelings! The pace sped up from this point on, and there was no more time to think about the past! Or so I thought…

Now and Then chapters began to draw a picture, dark and full of promises. I knew something big was coming. What I didn’t know was that more than one ‘What???’ moment was slowly making their way to me! When an anonymous narrator sprang from the pages to give us creepy and somehow threatening short chapters, I devoured each word, knowing it would all make sense in the end.

What do you do when your husband and son disappear in a small place surrounded by cliffs and filled with unfriendly people? What goes through a mother’s mind when she feels responsible for everything that’s happening? How do family dynamics change in such a difficult situation?

I felt secrets hiding behind doors, bushes, words… Yet I couldn’t figure out what to make of the pieces I was handed!

I can’t and won’t reveal anything else about the plot, but let me tell you one thing. There is nothing a woman won’t do to protect those she loves. When the stars began to align and the truth came out, I was overly excited. I had seen nothing coming! I had grown attached to Faye, I had forged opinions on everyone… And Shalini Boland just threw it all away. I had to reassess what I thought I knew, and it’s an exercise I love!

The Marriage Betrayal is a splendid two-faced thriller beautifully written by a stunning author who isn’t afraid to lead you to the edge of the cliff, for better or for worse!

Grab your copy now!


Apple Books:



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about the author
Shalini Boland - Author Pic

Shalini Boland is a USA Today and Amazon bestselling author of psychological thrillers ‘THE GIRL FROM THE SEA’, ‘THE BEST FRIEND’, ‘THE MILLIONAIRE’S WIFE’ (optioned for TV by Legendary Studios), ‘THE SECRET MOTHER’, ‘THE CHILD NEXT DOOR’, ‘THE SILENT SISTER’ and ‘THE PERFECT FAMILY’

Shalini lives in Dorset, England with her husband, two children and their cheeky terrier cross. Before kids, she was signed to Universal Music Publishing as a singer/songwriter, but now she spends her days writing psychological thrillers (in between school runs and hanging out endless baskets of laundry).

Be the first to hear about her new releases here:

She is also the author of two bestselling Young Adult series as well as an atmospheric WWII novel with a time-travel twist.


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