A Circle of Wives

Length: 9 hrs and 37 mins
3.8 out of 5 stars (415 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

When Dr. John Taylor is found dead in a hotel room in his hometown, the local police find enough incriminating evidence to suspect foul play. Detective Samantha Adams, whose Palo Alto beat usually covers small-town crimes, is innocently thrown into a high-profile murder case that is more intricately intertwined than she could ever imagine. A renowned plastic surgeon, a respected family man, and an active community spokesman, Dr. Taylor was loved and admired. But, hidden from the public eye, he led a secret life - in fact, multiple lives. A closeted polygamist, Dr. Taylor was married to three very different women in three separate cities. And when these three unsuspecting women show up at his funeral, suspicions run high. Adams soon finds herself tracking down a murderer through a web of lies and marital discord.

With a rare combination of gripping storytelling, vivid prose, and remarkable insight into character, Alice LaPlante brings to life a story of passion and obsession that will haunt listeners long after they turn the final page. A charged and provocative psychological thriller, A Circle of Wives dissects the dynamics of love and marriage, trust and jealousy, posing the terrifying question: How well do you really know your spouse?

©2014 Alice LaPlante. Recorded by arrangement with Grove/Atlantic, Inc. (P)2014 Audible, Inc.

Critic Reviews

"Kyla Garcia manages the perfect balance between uncertainty and determination as she voices new detective Sam Adams's battle to differentiate truth from lies on her first murder case. Plastic surgeon John Taylor is found dead in a hotel room. As the story unfolds through first-person accounts - delivered by the other female narrators - and newspaper reports - read by George Newbern - the listener is invited into the complicated life of Taylor, who had three wives. Only the first wife, Deborah, coolly characterized by Nan MacNamara, knows of the existence of the others. At times, the listening is disorienting as each of these very different women voices her grief and analyses the lie of her marriage. It can be painful but ultimately fascinating. Who killed the likable and idealistic Doctor Taylor and why?" ( AudioFile)

What listeners say about A Circle of Wives

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Not my cup of tea

To be fair, I usually listen to fast-paced murder mysteries. This book was not that at all. For me the story line was too slow and too much story telling about the wives and their lives. I kept waiting for some investigating to occur. I tried to keep listening, but about half way through, I gave up. Maybe the book gets better at the end. Also, I just couldn't find it plausible that the wives had no idea that their husband was already married, particularly in this age of technology. The performance of the book was fine, but overall this was not my cup of tea.

8 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Almost a 5 Star but a TERRIBLE finale !

Would you consider the audio edition of A Circle of Wives to be better than the print version?

I enjoyed the use of multiple voices to narrate the story. The narrators voices were well suited to the characters.
I would have rated this with (5) stars except for the AWFUL final chapter. After a story propelled by multiple points of view, the last paragraph had a surreal quality that was out of place with the character-driven narrative. Major let-down !

7 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Narrators don't know proper pronunciation

Is there anything you would change about this book?

The resolution of the whodunit seemed contrived.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Not sure. I couldn't relate to the characters I wanted to like. But I found them interesting, if weak and vulnerable.

How could the performance have been better?

The narrators' lack of familiarity with elementary English words is astonishing. Mispronunciation at critical moments totally ruined the flow of the story. "Sangween" for "sanguine", for example. Gross mispronunciation coming out of the mouth of the hoity toity character totally undermined her.

Could you see A Circle of Wives being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?

No. The story is too contrived. Maybe a Lifetime soapy drama, but nothing more.

6 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Enjoyable until the end

I selected this book because of its setting (I'm a long time resident of the area) and the concept of the story being told by individual characters. The read was pleasant enough--performances by the narrators quite good--but parts of the plot became a bit predictable. What was the most disappointing was the very end. I felt lured to the conclusion only to be left hanging mid-air. I even listened a second time..still can't figure out what the last chapter was intended to communicate.

9 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Disappointed 😞

While the subject matter was interesting in the beginning, the jumping back and forth of characters got monotonous. The author seemed as if she was trying to extend the book by having many, many needless details and conversations between the characters. The ending, on the other hand, was quite abrupt and disappointing.

3 people found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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What a waste of time

What would have made A Circle of Wives better?

Nothing....silly story without a good ending

What do you think your next listen will be?

Anything not written by this author

How did the narrator detract from the book?

Yes, way too many for such a silly book.

If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from A Circle of Wives?

I wouldn't have allowed it to be published.

Any additional comments?

Save your time and money.

7 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

More variation in voices please

This was an intelligent compelling mystery. Happily the complicated solution was clearly reiterated by the detective st the end

Otherwise I might have had a hard time understanding how she figured it out

I listened to this nook in the car and often had trouble understanding which character was speaking

Particularly in conversations between
women

Not enough variation in the voices

Still. I'd recommend the book

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

Light On Suspense, Heavy With Maudlin Women

This book may have a few elements of a murder mystery, but it is actually a maudlin, biographical report of several women's lives. It's is also plagued by an uneven plot line and slightly ridiculous dialogue. Ugh! I'd only recommend this book to someone who enjoys reading about women wallowing in self-pity.

1 person found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

A pleasant listening of fluff..

Easy listening of slight intrigue murder and bigamy,... I would recommend this book for a lazy afternoon

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

interesting read

I live in the Bay area so really enjoyed this book not just for the local trivia, but also because it was a fascinating story.