The Perfect Husband || with the perfect villain

Book: The Perfect Husband
Author: Lisa Gardner
Genre: Mystery & Thriller
Category: Adult
Series info: Book 1 of Quincy & Raine but can be read as a standalone


Tess was only eighteen when she married Jim Beckett, a decorated police officer. Having grown up in an abusive household, she thought she’d found her savior in Jim. But he quickly showed a dark, controlling side and an explosive rage that, unbeknownst to Tess, resulted in his committing multiple murders. When Tess finally put the pieces together, she helped the police capture Jim. But now two y ears later, he’s escaped from prison, and Tess knows he’s going after her.Tess isn’t about to sit still and be turned into a victim once more. Leaving her daughter in the protective custody of the police, she travels to Arizona where she intends to hire the infamous mercenary J.T. Dillon to teach her how to protect herself. J.T. has had enough of life, having lost too many of his personal battles, and is content is drink himself into oblivion. But Tess refuses to go away, and J.T. realizes that she’s his one chance to redeem himself.

Meanwhile, the police are on a manhunt for Jim, who has started killing again. Finally, everyone realizes that the only way to capture the elusive Jim is to set Tess up as a bait, leading to a breath-stealing climax.


First of all, WOW.

I’m slowly going through all Lisa Gardner books I can find, and this is the best I’ve read so far. Why is it that every book I read is better than the previous ones I’ve read.


The book starts about mid-way of the plot, with backstory being given to us at appropriate times. Tess, running from her psychopath husband Jim, decides to learn how to fight from a retired Marine. She knows that being in prison is not going to stop her husband from coming after her.

It’s a thrilling ride, seeing the story from multiple points of views.

Jim is the best villain I’ve read about. He’s a bloody genius with an IQ of 145. The rest of the characters, even though they tried their hardest, are always two steps behind him. The only person who’s ready for it is Tess.

As the book progresses, we see just how smart and brilliant he is. I kept getting impressed by him. Honestly brilliant.

We also went into the psychology of a psychopath. I found out so much about the human psyche, and how psychopaths think, through this book.

There also this brief moment where Tess wondered about Jim, and this quote was so good I had to mark it.

No one knew what caused a psychopath. Were they born? Were they made? Could they pass on that cruelty to their children?

-The Perfect Husband by Lisa Gardner

Tess was a pretty good main character, but I somehow didn’t really like her. Her characteristics were contradicting sometimes and that threw me off.

Tess is a determined person. She’s determined to learn how to fight and not rely on police guard. She knows that Jim will come for her, and the next time she will be prepared. It’s either kill, or be killed. And she cannot leave her daughter in his hands, even though he seems to genuinely love their daughter.

Another main character is JT Dillon, the ex-marine Tess approaches to learn how to fight. J.T. Dillon was interesting. I liked the way he kept going in circles about the feelings for his family because it made sense. I totally expect that from people who have gone through those things. I also felt that he was the kind of character we see in real life more, compared to the others.

I also liked the focus on J.T.’s sister Marion and her mindset about the abuse she received as a child. She’s the woman who is a brilliant cop, and is better at the job than most men. We also see sexism through her experiences.


It’s a great book that blew me off on the thriller and mystery part. I didn’t like the romance part that was added in but it’s kind of negligible so it’s okay.

I definitely recommend it to readers who love the genre, and even those who don’t.

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