Guilty Wives
James Patterson and David Ellis
Little, Brown and Co. 2012
448 pages

If it is a cliché to describe a book as a page turner, then Guilty Wives by James Patterson and David Ellis is an exciting, engrossing, attention-grabbing … cliché and mystery novel.  Guilty Wives follows the story of four women, close friends who innocently embark on a decadent, lavish adventure to Monte Carlo to have a blast, and temporarily escape their ordinary routines.

Four wild and reckless days in paradise quickly explode into a scene of nightmarish proportions, as they find themselves prime suspects in the murder of the beloved French president and his bodyguard, with a bereaved public out for blood.

There is no doubt that all of the women have made serious errors in judgement.  Despite damning evidence, a defiant Abbie Elliot is the only one who refuses to make a coerced confession to bargain for all-or-none reduced sentences.  Her choice separates the women from each other, shatters their lives, and lands them in a vile, dank and overcrowded French prison, where lesser brutality serves as kindness.

Within the intricate plot, readers know that something is amiss.  Corruption and manipulation abound. Is it a calculated frame up, or is there more than an element of truth?  Someone knows, but the authors preserve the secret well, and suspense reigns.  Then even greater hell breaks loose and we witness the lengths that are travelled in order to execute revenge.

Guilty Wives by James Patterson and David Ellis is not pretty.  It is an often intense, always interesting escape that is hard to put down.  It is definitely a page turner.  Patterson and Ellis have done very, very well.