Review: The Third Mrs. Durst by Ann Aguirre

The Third Mrs. Durst by Ann AguirrePublisher: Midnight Ink
Author: Ann Aguirre
Released: August 8th, 2019
Received: NetGalley
Warnings: Abuse, sexual assault, torture
Rating: 3 1/2 kitties

I received a copy of The Third Mrs. Durst through NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.

The Third Mrs. Durst is Ann Aguirre’s first foray into the world of thrillers. Previously, she’d proven that she’s a master at writing fantasy. And now we know she can handle other genres as well. It’s impressive.

The Third Mrs. Durst is a heavier novel, full of emotion, abuse, determination, and revenge. It follows Marlena Altizer Durst, also known as the Third Mrs. Durst. Marlena started out with nothing but built herself up to something through a career in modeling. Then she married Mr. Durst and her life took a turn – but not necessarily for the best.

This novel is a thriller through and through. It’s also perfect for anyone out there looking for a good revenge novel. Sometimes we all crave something like that, right?

I’ve loved Ann Aguirre’s science fiction and fantasy for years, so I wanted to be sure to give this new genre a chance. I know sometimes it can be hard for an author to transition from one genre to another. I’m glad I gave this one a try, and I’ll be curious to see what she comes out with next.

Spoiler Warning

Warnings: There are a lot of fairly graphic moments in this novel. There’s abuse, sexual assault, torture, rape, and scenes that blur the lines on where consent lies. These moments are intense and fairly uncomfortable – as they were meant to be.

The Third Mrs. Durst is an intense read, but a thrilling one nonetheless. This novel has a lot of fun taking some typical tropes and flipping them on their heads. All while presenting us with a strong female lead and an antagonist that’s perfect to hate.

I do think it’s going to be one of those books that people either love or hate. And that might very well depend on the moods we’re in. Personally, I know I didn’t love it as much as I could have (or as much as I would have liked). But I also know that the more graphic elements really threw me, so that likely played a factor.

I do love that Ann Aguirre twisted expectations in this novel. Nothing is what it appears to be here, the weak and abused female character is anything but (okay, she is abused, but she is anything but weak). The plot has more layers than a glance would indicate. And so much more.

A lot of the twists and turns you couldn’t see coming, and she took advantage of that storytelling style to obfuscate the truth. I’m not entirely sure how I feel about some of that, to be honest. I don’t like it when I read a mystery where the puzzle pieces are impossible to put together. But this is a thriller, so perhaps I shouldn’t expect to be able to mull through it in the same sense.

The Third Mrs. Durst was an interesting read, on the whole. I’m not going to pretend that it was my favorite, but I did really enjoy it at times. And I’m sincerely looking forward to seeing what Ann Aguirre comes out with next.

About Liz (AKA Cat)

I am an avid animal lover, photographer, reader, and much more. While my photography blog is feeling a bit neglected at the moment, the other sites I'm involved in are going strong. ✧I review books, comics, and basically anything else in the literary world over at Quirky Cat's Fat Stacks (of Books). ✧I review comics and books, as well as write content for Word of the Nerd. ✧I review comics for Monkeys Fighting Robots. ✧I write content for Screen Rant and CBR. ✧I write book reviews for The Review Crew.
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