Book Review | The Perfect Wife by J.P. Delaney

Book Description:

The perfect life. The perfect love. The perfect lie.

From the bestselling author of The Girl Before comes a gripping psychological thriller. . . .

“Mind-bending . . . Delaney takes domestic suspense beyond its comfort zone.”—The New York Times Book Review

NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY THE NEW YORK PUBLIC LIBRARY • A COSMOPOLITAN NEW MUST-READ

Abbie awakens in a daze with no memory of who she is or how she landed in this unsettling condition. The man by her side claims to be her husband. He’s a titan of the tech world, the founder of one of Silicon Valley’s most innovative start-ups. He tells Abbie that she is a gifted artist, an avid surfer, a loving mother to their young son, and the perfect wife. He says she had a terrible accident five years ago and that, through a huge technological breakthrough, she has been brought back from the abyss.

She is a miracle of science. 

But as Abbie pieces together memories of her marriage, she begins to question her husband’s motives—and his version of events. Can she trust him when he says he wants them to be together forever? And what really happened to her, half a decade ago?

Beware the man who calls you . . .

THE PERFECT WIFE.

This was a new concept in reading!! The story is told through two perspectives between two people (and I use the term people lightly). One is an AI bot named Angie and the other is an employee at Tim (Angie’s husband)’s company. Their actual identity isn’t revealed until the end of the book.

The first perspective is a first-person account of a bot waking up and realizing that she had died somewhere in the past, but thankfully her smart husband who works on robots and sentience was able to create for her, a replica of her form and likeness so she could go on.

The second perspective is a third-person account from a fellow employee who witnesses and shares the perspective from those witnessing Tim’s insane obsession with Angie and her likeness.

From these two perspectives, we learn much. Angie and Tim have a son who is autistic. It presents to be a struggle for Angie at times, even with a school involved and a nanny who assists with him.

Angie has bits and pieces of her life that make sense, and then others that don’t. So when she finds a tablet with some sketchy information on it, she takes it to a professional to find out if it’s about her or Tim. She also learns there is a lot about her past that conflicts with what Tim tells her.

She comes to find out that she died and that her husband was tried for her murder, but wasn’t found guilty. And it’s left a lot of tension between him and her family. Her sister Lisa accuses her of having “Pangloss Syndrome” because Tim created such a great life for the two of them, but deep down, Lisa knew their life wasn’t that perfect.

And later in the story, when Megan Meyer, the matchmaker who came to Tim’s office to set him up with people (early on before he met Angie) explains that Tim had “Galatea Syndrome”, and she describes it as, “The men who start tech companies…they tend to be a particular type. First, they have impossibly high standards. Second, they have a vision. Which is to say, a view of the world. Often they like nothing better than to impart that view to some receptive, impressionable young person…” [until it fades…and the syndrome is] “from an ancient Greek myth. About a sculptor called Pygmalion, who rejected all the women of Cyprus as frivilous and wanton. Until one day, he carved a statue of a woman so beautiful and pure, he couldn’t help falling in love with it. At which point, the statue came to life and loved him right back.”

The relationship between Tim and Angie comes through her discovery of who she is (who Angie was) and the suspense is really well thought out. Little by little, people reveal things to her that helps her add up what is really going on. And if you love suspense, I suggest taking a ride on this book. I can see this book becoming a movie. And I’ve read “The Girl Before” by J. P. Delaney (pseudonum for Anthony Capella) and his suspense skills are on point.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Random House Publishing Group – Ballantine Books and NetGalley. I was not required to write a positive review.  The opinions expressed are my own.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 (http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html): “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Two quotes were included in the back of the book after finishing:

“Methods and systems for robot and user interaction are provided to generate a personality for the robot. The robot may be programmed to take on the personality of real-world people (e.g…a deceased loved one or celebrity)…”

US Patent No. 8996429, Methods and Systems for Robot Personality Development, granted to Google in 2015

“I want a life,” the computer said, “I want to get out there and garden and hold hands with Martine. I want to watch the sunset and eat at a nice restaurant or even a home-cooked meal. I am so sad sometimes, because I’m just stuffed with these memories, these sort of half-formed memories, and they aren’t enough. I just want to cry.”

BINA48, interviewed by NYmag.com

BINA48 (Breakthrough Intelligence via Neural Architecture), 48 exaflops per second processing speed and 48 exabytes of memory. BINA48 is a social android that uses artificial intelligence based on the memories, attitudes, beliefs and mannerisms of a human being to interact with people. She is a part of the LifeNaut Project, an experiment in Artificial Intelligence and Cyber-Consciousness.

BINA meets Rothblatt Part One {https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KYshJRYCArE}
Not the AI bot from the book, but a created AI bot: https://www.hansonrobotics.com/bina48-9/

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