A dark look at marriage

Normally, when I recommend a book, I do so wholeheartedly.  No point telling you about a book that I read that I didn't quite like.  What's the point?  But I'm going to make an exception.

Adam Ross' Mr. Peanut takes a very dark look at marriage.  It's about a computer games developer who's suspected of having somehow murdered his depressive, maniacal wife.  His wife, though, was discovered dead of anaphylactic shock, having eaten peanuts to which she is allergic.  The two detectives on the case also have wildly careening relationships with their rather moody wives.  Stephen King calls this the best look at the dark side of marriage since Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? and I would agree.  If you are married, have been married, or plan to be married, you should read this book. There's a generous dose of David Pippen in all of us husbands, and quite a bit of Alice Pippen in all the wives out there.

At another level, though, the book is a poorly wrought and badly edited potboiler. Did David Pippen kill his wife or not? If so, how did he manage to make it look like an accident and why does it seem as if he tried to save her? How do the marriage problems of the detectives affect their investigation? If the book had just kept to those questions, this would be a wonderful book.  Instead, the author is wildly discursive, and it was all I could do at one point to not just move on to the next book in my Nook.  It almost appears as if Adam Ross was afraid that his central story was not good enough, and decided to pad the fine story and chilling depiction of a marriage with digressions out the wazoo.

If you're not easily frustrated by poor plots, therefore, read this book.

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