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Her Three Lives


Her Three Lives

Jade Thompson’s relationship with her fiancée, Greg Hamlin, has all the makings of a fairy tale and a scandal. After the two suffer a violent and catastrophic event, what they have together turns into a nightmare. HER THREE LIVES, Cate Holahan’s latest domestic thriller, amps up tension and narrows focus to a brief and breathless period for Jade and Greg as they seek answers and chase shadows.

With an age gap of more than 20 years between them, Greg’s millions and Jade’s gorgeous looks, Greg’s soon-to-be ex-wife, Leah, and their two young adult children, Paul and Violet, feel justified in suspecting that Jade is after Greg’s money and that his feelings are more about lust than connection. Yet Jade and Greg insist that their engagement --- after a merely six-month-long relationship --- is genuine and not influenced by Greg’s money or Jade’s unexpected pregnancy. But when the two are brutally attacked, they lose their unborn child and Greg suffers a devastating, coma-inducing head injury that requires lengthy surgeries and rehabilitation.

"Overall, HER THREE LIVES is an entertaining read. It is emotional and fast-paced with some good twists and a diverse cast."

Police are at a loss to find the perpetrators. At first Jade is a suspect; her behavior is less than focused when Greg is recovering in the hospital. Although she is more than supportive during his recovery at home, the seeds of doubt have been planted. This is exacerbated by Greg’s growing paranoia and fostered by his installation of a security camera in just about every room of their new house. To further complicate matters, Leah and Violet continue to be hostile toward Jade and don’t hide their belief that she is a gold digger. The truth? Jade does have a big secret that she has kept from Greg, a secret that is perhaps the cause of the attack.

As Jade tries to uncover a possible connection between her past and the violent incident, all Greg sees, as he spies on her with tracking devices and cameras, is that she is sneaking around and withholding information. His anger swells until a final confrontation brings yet another round of violence to the couple.

Cate Holahan sets Jade and Greg on a collision course with this breathless and plot-driven novel. There are other characters to be wary of, but she anchors the story on these two as they lose sight of what brought them together and realize how little they really know each other. The house that Greg designed as a sanctuary, and in which they planned to raise their child, becomes a symbol of what has gone wrong, giving readers the opportunity to question the veracity of digital information so often taken for granted.

Holahan may not have succeeded in making her characters feel quite real. Both Jade and Greg are of a type: she is a young, beautiful influencer and blogger, and he is a rich, powerful, middle-aged man. Their flaws are more apparent than their positive qualities. Their brief relationship means they don’t have a history for Holahan to grapple with so much as a romance. It is hard to understand Jade’s attachment to Greg after a certain point in the narrative, but readers will want to stick around to see how this thriller resolves.

Overall, HER THREE LIVES is an entertaining read. It is emotional and fast-paced with some good twists and a diverse cast.

Reviewed by Sarah Rachel Egelman on May 7, 2021

Her Three Lives
by Cate Holahan