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Reviewed by Velma Lang for Readers' Favorite
How bad can a mother-in-law be? In Ectopic, Merethe Walther explores the lengths to which Caroline will go to possess Emilie’s unborn baby after her husband Vincent is killed in the car she was driving. The suspense in Ectopic kept me on edge until the baby’s premature birth while Emilie is imprisoned by Caroline. From the beginning, at Vincent’s funeral, Caroline reveals her obsessive and possessive mania in denying his death and that he’s alive in his unborn child. She surreptitiously obtains house keys and medical records, follows Emilie to appointments and to the graveyard and preempts her future plans. Her intrusions into Emilie’s home life and decision-making become more and more distressful until Emilie has to fight for her life and her child. Will she win?
Merethe Walther has created opposing characters so strong and well defined that the tension between them builds consistently and steadily to a life or death climax. The characters’ motivations, especially Caroline’s, are well thought out but at the same time reveal clues the reader must notice. While Emilie is suspicious of Caroline’s dark motives, she also includes shades of grey as she acknowledges her mother-in-law’s need to mourn, exposing her to danger. As well, secondary characters realistically complicate the plot because Caroline charms and manipulates them. Walther’s skillful weaving of details and emotions invites the reader into an engaging and harrowing confrontation. Ectopic is an exciting accounting of criminal insanity and highly recommended for readers who love conflict and suspense.