For many years, ever since her college days, Dana Catrell has had ups and downs. Her manic episodes and her depressions, all part of the diagnosed bipolar disorder, take over her life, especially when she is off her medications.

There are times when she can maintain, can control the ups and downs.

But the day that her neighbor Celia Steinhauser was bludgeoned to death in her home was not one of those days. That day, she felt very much out-of-control. And she was drunk. Her memory has blank spots, and for a while, she has an eerie feeling that she might have killed her friend. After all, she was presumably the last one to see her alive.

Her husband Peter, a lawyer, is not helping. Everything he does seems to increase her manic episodes, her feelings that she is going crazy, and his dismissive attitude makes her feel insignificant. As if she is something one could stuff in a pocket and forget about.

The Pocket Wife: A Novel takes the reader on the scary ride that is Dana’s life, with her mind teetering on the edge, as someone, including her husband, seems bent on making her feel crazier. And perhaps guilty.

But Detective Jack Moss, assigned to the case, is not so sure Dana is guilty. As he investigates, interviews persons of interest, and gathers evidence, the signs seem to point to more going on than what might seem obvious.

Who else had the most to gain by Celia’s death? Who is the woman in the photo with Peter, the one Celia showed Dana that day? What, if anything, does she have to do with what is happening now? And is Jack’s son, damaged by his parents’ divorce years before, somehow connected to the events of that day?

I did not figure out who had actually killed Celia until the story was nearing its conclusion. I had my suspicions about the person who was charged with the murder, but the denouement was definitely stunning. And worth the wait.

Peter was a slimy character, and so was Celia’s husband Ronald. There were a number of people who were unlikeable, but despite her flaws and her mental instability, and despite her unreliability as a narrator, Dana was someone I was rooting for throughout the story. I had high hopes that one of the sleazy characters would be guilty. Recommended for those who enjoy psychological thrillers. 5 stars.


  1. Nice review.

    I said almost the same things about the characters. I just wrote my review and then remembered I asked to see yours. I actually didn’t like Dana. 🙂

    You are a good detective. I had no clue about the killer. 🙂



    • I didn’t actually like Dana either, but I felt sorry for her. I have seen how husbands and others can denigrate a person, and make him or her feel crazier than they are…LOL. Thanks for stopping by, Elizabeth.


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