The Trailing Spouse by Jo Furniss #BookReview #BlogTour

 Do you really want to know the truth?

Amanda Bonham moved halfway around the world to be with the man she loves. Although expat life in Singapore can be difficult, Edward Bonham is a dream husband and a doting father to his teenage daughter, Josie.
But when their maid dies in an apparent suicide—and Amanda discovers the woman was pregnant and hiding a stash of drugs prescribed to Edward—she can’t help but wonder if her perfect husband has a fatal flaw. And if he can’t resist temptation under their own roof, what does he get up to when he travels?
Camille Kemble also has questions for Edward. Recently returned to Singapore, Camille is determined to resolve a family mystery. Amid a jumble of faded childhood memories, she keeps seeing Edward’s handsome face. And she wants to know why.
For one woman, the search for answers threatens everything she has. For another, it’s the key to all she lost. Both will follow his trail of secrets into the darkness to find the truth.

It's my pleasure to be hosting the final stop on the blog tour for The Trailing Spouse by Jo Furniss today. Many thanks to the author, publishers and Anne Cater from Random Things Tours for inviting me and for my advance ecopy of the book.
Amanda Bonham is a trailing spouse which means she has left her old life in London to be with her husband, Edward who lives in Singapore. At first glance it would appear that Amanda leads a charmed life; she has money, an attractive husband and a beautiful apartment. However, when she finds condoms in her husband's travel bag she suspects he may cheating on her when he travels away for business. Before she has time to decide what to do their young maid, Awmi is found dead, presumably by suicide. She discovers that Awmi was pregnant and when a stash of drugs prescribed to Ed is found in her room, Amanda begins to wonder just how well she knows her husband. She's his second marriage but did his first wife really die by suicide as Amanda has been led to believe? As she begins to look more closely at his activities, she starts to fear for the safety of herself and her stepdaughter. Josie's behaviour means she isn't a particularly easy character to like - she's belligerent and secretive but is she just another teenager acting out or does her behaviour suggest a darker path?
Camille Kemble works for the British High Commission and volunteers for HELP, an NGO which campaigns for the rights of  foreign domestic workers - it's strikingly clear that there's a world of difference between expats and migrants in Singapore and yet as the book progresses the lines become more blurred as we learn how few rights those living in the country on a Dependent's Pass actually have. Amanda hears about a woman who has lived there for thirteen years but is given a month to leave after her husband is killed in an accident. As the book follows Amanda and Camille in turn it soon becomes obvious that the affluent lives of the expats may not be as trouble-free as it first appears. Not only do the trailing spouses have few rights but the community itself is a fragile one and is marked by gossip and competitiveness, based as it is on the constant movement of its members. Camille has her own investigation to pursue as she is tormented by the mystery of what happened to her parents fifteen years ago. Just a child when they disappeared, she is desperate to find out the truth and thinks she may have a lead when she realises Edward Bonham may be a face from her past.
Both Camille and Amanda start from positions of relative disadvantage; one is hindered by her shaky memory of the past and her questions as to what her parents work really entailed, while the other realises that her discoveries could put her at risk, although quite what that risk could be is something she can't quite fully comprehend as the facade of her life begins to crumble. However, these are tenacious and ultimately strong women who keep pushing even if the simpler path would be to stop. Amanda is driven by a desire to have children but in the meantime struggles with her role as stepmother to Josie. She is never quite sure whether she is overstepping the mark, she wants to be there for her stepdaughter, particularly when she begins to suspect they are both in danger but she can't quite bridge the distance between them and continues to keep the girl at arm's length.
The Trailing Spouse is a novel about relationships and they are so perceptively described throughout; this is domestic noir at its most insightful. As the story continues, Jo Furniss's knowledge of the area pays dividends and the humid setting is brought vividly to life, helping create an oppressive, almost feverish hue to the proceedings. The creeping sense of danger is like a vine from the jungle surrounding the city, unrelenting as it twists its way around all in its path. Shocking, immersive and convincing, The Trailing Spouse is a clever and beautifully written book. Highly recommended.

The Trailing Spouse is published by Lake Union Publishing and can be purchased here. Don't forget to check out the rest of the blog tour, details are below.

About the Author
After spending a decade as a broadcast journalist for the BBC, Jo Furniss gave up the glamour of night shifts to become a freelance writer and serial expatriate. Originally from the UK, she lived in Switzerland and Cameroon, and currently resides with her family in Singapore.
As a journalist, Jo has worked for numerous online outlets and magazines, including Monocle, The Economist, Business Traveller, Expat Living (Singapore) and Swiss News. Jo has also edited books for a Nobel Laureate and the Palace of the Sultan of Brunei. She has a Distinction in MA Professional Writing from Falmouth University. In 2015 she founded—an online literary magazine for writers in Singapore.
All the Little Children is Jo’s debut novel and she is working on a second domestic thriller to be released in 2018.
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