The Marriage Pact

In this relentlessly paced novel of psychological suspense, New York Times bestselling author Michelle Richmond crafts an intense and shocking tale that asks: How far would you go to protect your marriage?
Newlyweds Alice and Jake are a picture-perfect couple. Alice, once a singer in a well-known rock band, is now a successful lawyer. Jake is a partner in an up-and-coming psychology practice. Their life together holds endless possibilities. After receiving an enticing wedding gift from one of Alice’s prominent clients, they decide to join an exclusive and mysterious group known only as The Pact.
The goal of The Pact seems simple: to keep marriages happy and intact. And most of its rules make sense. Always answer the phone when your spouse calls. Exchange thoughtful gifts monthly. Plan a trip together once per quarter. . . . 
Never mention The Pact to anyone.
Alice and Jake are initially seduced by the glamorous parties, the sense of community, their widening social circle of like-minded couples.
And then one of them breaks the rules.
The young lovers are about to discover that for adherents to The Pact, membership, like marriage, is for life. And The Pact will go to any lengths to enforce that rule.
For Jake and Alice, the marriage of their dreams is about to become their worst nightmare.

This seemed like something out of a Showtime conceptualization such as The Affair or maybe HBO since they’re doing the Big Little Lies series right now. Either way it’d make the perfect mini-series for a cable movie channel.

 It’s a very intense and suspenseful story that can easily be read and finished within a day thanks to the fast pace and chapters that just seem to melt one into another. Each chapter will pull you into the next with no place where you feel safe putting it down. Richmond knows how to write dialogue, probably why I could see this being easily turned into a screenplay with few changes. Even though you’re reading it with your eyes her words flow so well you might as well have been listening to an audiobook; you can just hear the characters having these conversations in your head.

 As far as the storyline goes I found it well-written, intriguing and an interesting take on relationships. I did find some of the subject matter and characterizations a little hard on the realism side because the main characters are supposed to be well-educated but somehow they fell into this odd Pact. Since the Pact seems to mirror Scientology in ways, something many others have picked up on, and we all know seemingly intelligent people who are involved in that it did help mend some of the confusion as to why smart people do dumb things.

 Overall Richmond is an excellent and talented writer which shows through everything she does especially when she adds bits of pop culture to her books by name dropping bands and or songs and real places around the Bay area (I so want to go visit there now with this book in hand).

 It’s one of those stories that draws you in and you want to keep reading if only to find out how this couple is going to fare through The Pact. Although some of the rules make sense, particularly if you’re newlyweds trying to avoid being part of the high American divorce rate, what will really make you curious is the cloud that hangs over their heads of what if you violate them???

 Thank you to Netgalley and Random House Publishing for allowing me to review this book.

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*synopsis and pic from

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