Every Tuesday, Juliet "Jules" Belleno of Wissberry, Maine reviews a book on her blog. But when Jules is disappointed in the latest novel written by her favorite author, Patrick Reagan, and she posts an unfavorable review, her life changes in unexpected ways. Jules is a reclusive, 34 year-old widow who rarely leaves her house since her husband, Jason, died in the line of police duty. On the day of what would've been her wedding anniversary, Jules sets out to the grocery store to buy ingredients to recreate their favorite meal. Along the way, she meets Patrick Reagan, who ultimately kidnaps her, ushering her into a nightmare where she's taken to task and forced to explain her review and herself to a deeply troubled man who has suffered heart-wrenching personal losses of his own.
With Jules missing, her worried, alcoholic father, a retired military Lt. Colonel, enlists the help of Jason's former police partner. As the two search for Jules, startling revelations begin to emerge about Jason's death. Was it really an accident? Or might Jason's death be connected to Jules' kidnapping?
Misery Loves Company is categorized as "spiritual suspense." The flawed, lonely characters grapple with ideas of faith amid loss, evil and corruption. However, as in Gutteridge's other novels (Listen, Possession), the narrative is never preachy. The fast-paced twists and turns of the plot present an insightful, chilling look at how privacy is often compromised in the internet age and how choices in life can ripple beyond the scope of personal existence.
Tyndale House Publishers, $12.00, Trade Paper, 9781414349336 , 346 pp
Publication Date: August 1, 2013
Note: This review is a reprint and is being posted (in a slightly different form) with the permission of Shelf Awareness. To read this review on Shelf Awareness: Reader's Edition (8/6/13), click HERE