Coming home from a tour selling her cat quilts, Jillian becmes alarmed when she hasn’t heard from her friend Tom, but when she goes to Tom’s house, she encounters his estranged half-brother, Bob, who has broken into Tom’s house, arousing fears in Jillian in The Cat, the Wife, and the Weapon by Leann Sweeney. Causing further drama, Jillian learns that Bob has let Tom’s diabetic cat get loose, and Jillian finds him comatose with dangerously low blood sugar. After returning home from the vet, where Dashiell gets proper treatment, Jillian finds Tom in her house, where he retreated to take a shower, and she is alarmed to see his face badly beaten up.
Tom explains that he has an ex-wife who has a son with whom Tom really bonded before divorcing Hillary a year later, and soon after turning 18, Finn has run away from his mother and her husband, Nolan Roth, who happens to be Tom’s ex-partner from the police force whom Tom turned in for being a corrupt cop and got out of prison a year earlier. This man, certain Tom must have Finn hidden in his home, has kidnapped Tom and held him captive with repeated beatings until Tom managed to escape. As Jillian takes Tom home, they see a young man walking on the side of the road, and Tom recognizes Finn. But when they pick up the young man, Jillian recognizes a head injury and signs of a concussion, and Finn can’t remember anything from most of the day. When Finn’s step-father is found murdered, Finn becomes a suspect in the crime.
The book explores the soap opera that is Tom’s former life. It contains quite a few characters, which gets a little bit confusing at times, but that was a minor concern. But the thing that seems unusual to me is the extensive past in Tom’s life that, despite dating Jillian for what I think has been about a year, Tom has never even given Jillian a hint existed. She suddenly learns he has twin brothers, is divorced, and has a step-son he is devoted to and has continued to keep in touch with. What kind of relationship that appears as healthy as Tom’s and Jillian’s has, involves such deep secrets? Further, Tom’s deep bitterness against Hillary seems very uncharacteristic of his character.
Vanessa Johansson continues in performing the narrative of the audiobook. I really love the sound of her voice, which just sounds so perfectly like Jillian likely sounds. Her inflections and gentle southern accent suit the character of Jillian, the narrator of the book, very well.
I enjoyed The Cat, the Wife, and the Weapon a lot, but it isn’t as strong as the first three books. But a weak Leann Sweeney book is still a strong book in general. I give this book four stars.
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