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Extended Audio Sample A Reliable Wife, by Robert Goolrick Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (46,230 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Robert Goolrick Narrator: Mark Feuerstein Publisher: Recorded Books, LLC Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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He placed a notice in a Chicago paper, an advertisement for “a reliable wife.” She responded, saying that she was “a simple, honest woman.” She was, of course, anything but honest. The only simple thing about her was her single-minded determination to marry this man and then kill him, slowly and carefully, leaving her a wealthy widow, able to take care of the one she truly loved.

But what Catherine Land did not realize was that the enigmatic and lonely Ralph Truitt had a plan of his own. And what neither anticipated was that they would fall so completely in love.

Filled with unforgettable characters, shimmering with color and atmosphere, A Reliable Wife is an enthralling tale of love and madness, of longing and murder.

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Quotes & Awards

  • "A gothic tale of...smoldering desire...The novel is deliciously wicked and tense...Once you’ve fallen into the miasma of A Reliable Wife, it’s intoxicating.”

    Washington Post

  • “In the kind of precise, literary prose that breathes life into his complicated characters, Goolrick, author of an acclaimed memoir, has also managed a rousing historical potboiler, an organic mystery rooted in the real social ills of turn-of-the-century America...A detailed exploration of love, despair, and the distance people can travel to reach each other that is as surprising, and as suspenseful, as any beach read.”

    Boston Globe

  • “[A] beautifully written, beautifully dark book. Goolrick is a superb writer.”

    Chicago Sun-Times

  • “A killer debut novel...Suspenseful and erotic...[A] chillingly engrossing plot...Good to the riveting end.”

    USA Today

  • “A tantalizing pace that will have you flipping faster and faster through the pages...A beautiful and haunting read, a story about all the different manifestations of love—a story that will stay with you.”

    Minneapolis Star Tribune

  • “A glittering, poisoned ice cube of a tale...A Reliable Wife is eminently readable and should delight fans of old-fashioned gothic romances...Goolrick is a solid wordsmith, and he handily manages the impressive task of making readers care about a woman bent on cold-blooded murder.”

    Christian Science Monitor

  • “A thrilling, juicy read...The writing is beautiful and the story is captivating. It’s a real page-turner.”

    Today show

  • “[An] engrossing and addictive novel [that] will leave you both chilled and satisfied.”


  • “A weighty psychodrama laced with Hitchcockian suspense.”

    Time Out New York

  • “[A] darkly nuanced psychological tale [that] builds to a strong and satisfying close.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “Mark Feuerstein’s performance is spellbinding. His crisp delivery matches the staccato rhythm of Goolrick’s declarative sentences. Further, he brings each character’s unique voice to life with modulated tones that convey layers of personality and emotions.” 


  • “[A] tension-laden debut from a promising new talent.”


  • “A fierce and sophisticated debut novel.”


  • “A sublime murder ballad that doesn’t turn out at all the way one might expect.”

    Kirkus Reviews

  • A #1 New York Times Bestseller
  • A #1 Publishers Weekly Bestseller
  • A USA Today Bestseller
  • Selected for the April 2009 Indie Next List

Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Brenda Dolha | 2/9/2014

    " A beautiful portrait of life in an isolated winter landscape, where no-one and nothing is as it first appears "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Linda Robertson | 2/5/2014

    " Enjoyed this just as much the second time around! "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 by Punita | 2/2/2014

    " Gave it a 2 only because as horribly written as it was I still wanted to know what was going to happen next. The author over words and goes on and on about the same thing. 10 ways to say one thing throughout the whole book gets annoying. I picked it up wanting something to read after 50 shades and the reviews looked great... Not for me!! Good story idea bad execution! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Lori Engel | 1/31/2014

    " I had troubled with this book. I think the overall darkness was a little too much for me. The characters were well rounded and real. The Wisconsin winter scape was a character in itself. "

  • > Show All
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