Becoming a member of the LoveReading community is free.

No catches, no fine print just unadulterated book loving, with your favourite books saved to your own digital bookshelf.

New members get entered into our monthly draw to win £100 to spend in your local bookshop Plus lots lots more…

Find out more

The Guilty Wife

Paperback edition released 25/01/2018

by Elle Croft

Family Drama Books with reviews by our Reader Review Panel Crime and Mystery Debut Books of the Month Debuts eBooks of the Month Thriller and Suspense

LoveReading Expert Review of The Guilty Wife

February 2018 Debut of the Month.

A debut to make you question everyone and trust no one. Bethany isn’t an innocent, in fact, you could say she is far from that, yet after murder tears her life apart, she has to find the killer in order to prove her innocence. The prologue snared my attention, the story then took off, throwing foreboding, suspicion and doubt in my way. Elle Croft hasn’t created a loveable, sugary sweet main character, you may find yourself wanting to shake Bethany on occasion, to question her motives, her actions, and of course that adds to the energy and tension. This is so entertaining and easy to read, the story just gallops along towards an ending that thunders with intensity. The Guilty Wife is an exciting, and fast paced read, the ending keeps beckoning and demanding your attention, will the last few pages shock you, or confirm your suspicions? ~ Liz Robinson

Liz Robinson

The Guilty Wife Synopsis

If you were being framed for murder, how far would you go to clear your name?The debut psychological thriller that reads as Apple Tree Yard meets Behind Closed Doors, by way of Double Jeopardy.

I'm guilty of many things. Bethany Reston is happily married. But she's also having an affair with a famous client.And no one can ever know.But I'm innocent of murder.When Bethany's lover is brutally murdered, she has to hide her grief from everyone. But someone knows her secret. And then one day the threats begin. With an ever-growing pile of evidence pointing to her as the murderer, the only way she can protect her secrets is to prove her innocence. And that means tracking down a killer.An incredibly taut, tense game of cat and mouse - with a twist you'll never see coming.

About This Edition

ISBN: 9781409175421
Publication date: 25th January 2018
Author: Elle Croft
Publisher: Orion (an Imprint of The Orion Publishing Group Ltd ) an imprint of Orion Publishing Co
Format: Paperback
Pagination: 320 pages
Collections: 100+ Female Led Crime Fiction,
Primary Genre Family Drama
Other Genres:
Win a paperback copy of The Serial Killer's Wife alongside a Colourblock Papier notebook.

Win a paperback copy of The Serial Killer's Wife alongside a Colourblock Papier notebook.

Closing date: 30/06/2021

The Serial Killer's Wife by Alice Hunter is out now and to celebrate we are working with AVON to offer a copy of the paperback as well as a Colourblock Papier notebook.  "A snaking twisting ride into the middle of a young family torn apart by allegations of murder." Liz Robinson, Expert Reviewer This draw is open only for UK residents currently in the UK and is free to enter, multiple entries from the same email address will only be counted once. The draw closes on 30th June 2021. Please ensure that the details you use to enter the competition will be correct at the time the competition ends. The winners will be notified as soon as possible.

Enter Now

Like For Like Featured Books

A Dark-adapted Eye
The Kindest Thing
Do No Harm
Too Close to Home

The Guilty Wife Reader Reviews

In addition to our Lovereading expert opinion some of our Reader Review Panel were also lucky enough to read and review this title.

‘The Guilty Wife’ is about a young woman who finds herself framed for the murder of her lover. It is a well written and tense account of the fear and guilt she feels.

It opens with a Prologue in which the main character, Bethany, is enjoying time with her boyfriend.  Then into chapter one where she is spending time with her husband, who she clearly loves.  This juxtaposition means instead of feeling anger or disliking her for her actions, I was able to empathise with her complex situation.   It surprised me that I warmed to her character, as normally I prefer to be able to relate to a main character and like them for their actions.   As someone who rarely reads this genre I am unsure of the unsettling final chapters because I am used to a Fairy Tale style happy ever after!  The book was well written (I read it in one sitting, so certainly enjoyed the reading process) but for me it didn’t offer the depth of character or storyline I would look for in a psychological thriller.

Ruth Paterson

Fast paced, gritty debut novel with a real twist, brilliant storytelling and surprises along the way.

On reading ‘The Guilty Wife’ by Elle Croft I was amazed it was her debut novel. Bethany has an affair with a famous man and when he is murdered has to hide her guilt from everyone, but soon finds out she is the prime suspect. I was drawn in from the very first page and couldn't wait to read the rest. The many twists and turns, the surprising outcome at the end, the quandary Bethany finds herself in are all portrayed so well, I couldn't guess who the real murderer was. Definitely fast paced with chapters that were exactly the right length to keep tension building, I was hooked and had to read late into the night to finish the book and find out the identity of the villain! Well worth reading and I will look out for more by Elle Croft.


Glenda Worth

Croft weaves an intriguing web of deceit and duplicity around her story. Tantalisingly told.

‘The Guilty Wife’ is the debut psychological thriller from Elle Croft. Available from, ‘The Guilty Wife’ is the debut psychological thriller from Elle Croft.   From the outset, Croft weaves an intriguing web of deceit and duplicity centred around the murder of Calum Bradley and the framing for it of his girlfriend Bethany.  Is she innocent? Will she be able to prove her innocence?  Is she hiding something?  These are all questions that carry throughout the book until the events of the night of the murder are finally revealed.  Tantalisingly told.  If you enjoyed ‘Between You and Me’ by Lisa Hall or ‘The Couple Next Door’ by Shari Lapena then I think you will like this book. 

Sarah Mustafa

A really tense and enthralling novel.

How do you prove your innocence? Bethany is accused of murder, initially by a stalker who threatens her, and eventually by the police. Is she guilty?

A really tense and enthralling novel. Bethany, a successful and happily married photographer is nevertheless having an affair with a client - the mega celebrity Calum Bradley. After a clandestine meeting he is murdered and a chain of events unfold, seeming to point to Bethany as the murderer.  Someone is stalking her, sending her notes and photos, hacking her social media and threatening her. Terrified, instead of going to the police she attempts to solve the crime on her own, eventually enlisting the help of her best friend Alex. Her search for the truth is doomed and she is brought to trial for the murder. All the way through she suspects everyone, including her husband Jason, except the one person responsible. There is a sting in the tail which hardened readers of detective fiction may work out for themselves but it doesn't detract from all the twists and turns of this entertaining novel. Gripping and well worth reading. If this is a debut novel, I look forward to the next one!

Lynne Rapson

I would recommend this book. As a first novel it is a gritty story and it gripped me from start to finish.

Everyone has choices to make every day. Bethany has a habit of making the wrong ones thus bringing about her downfall.

The tension builds up throughout this story and the ending will be a surprise to most people. Although I had already worked out who was the murderer I was gratified to see that the denouement was not the one I’d expected.

The main character, Bethany, makes so many wrong choices she brings about her own downfall.

Lynda Defreitas

This is a great read and I tore through it. I thought I knew who the killer was twice and I was wrong both times!

I was fortunate to be given a copy of ‘The Guilty Wife’ prior to its publication.  This is a great read and I tore through it.  I thought I knew who the killer was twice and I was wrong both times!  Ms Croft has an assured writing style and was able to bring the characters of Bethany, her husband and her best friend vividly to life.  The blurb for the book describes it as ‘an incredibly taut, tense game of cat and mouse – with a twist you’ll never see coming’.  I can confirm that the book is very entertaining and the twist floored me.  Thank you so much to Lovereading, Orion Publishing Group and Elle CROFT for giving me the opportunity to read and enjoy this book ahead of its publication.  


Jennifer Stoddart

An enjoyably tense little thriller, which punches above its weight.

Exactly what would you do if your whole life fell apart? If it suddenly took on that dream-like quality where no matter how loudly you shouted or how much you protested no one heard? If you had no idea who you could trust or where you could turn to for help? If you feared for your life every, single, day? For Bethany that nightmare has become a reality, a living hell she has to endure day in, day out. Second-guessing everyone, Bethany knows she’s not guilty of murder but somebody is out to destroy her and they are determined that once they are finished, her life won’t be worth living.

This short read certainly punches above its weight but I felt it could have been so much more powerful if it had been plumped out with a bit of substance. I felt myself wanting to know more about the characters and their relationships, a few more details could have really brought them to life for me. I wasn’t a huge fan of the jumps in timeline without the advantage of an immediately obvious dateline (maybe in the chapter headings?) in order to set the scene however it did propel you through the book at speed and therefore maintained the suspense. Overall though this was an enjoyably tense little thriller.

Sarah Harper

A page turner which kept you guessing to the very last page. Can't wait for Elle's next novel.

Who was watching? Who was the murderer? Twists along the way. Read to find out in this well thought out page turner.

When I started to read this book, all types of endings went through my mind. That changed the further I read. No, it couldn't be the actual wife. That was a cover story surely. Married woman has affair with a famous figure but it must be kept a secret. When the man is murdered who killed him? Was it his colleague with a score to settle or was it his wife or mugging that went wrong?

Diane Hinchley

A gripping crime thriller that’s a real page turner. Make sure you read it right to the end!

‘The Guilty Wife’ is a contemporary crime thriller set in London.  The main character Bethany has an affair with a celebrity who is murdered. While she knows that she didn’t do it, there is a growing amount of evidence that makes her look responsible. Elle Croft paints a brilliant picture of life under the media spotlight, the perils of getting too close to a famous celebrity and the ways in which innocent parties can be accused of crime.

The book is a real page turner and there are a couple of interesting twists to the story. The final resolution is explained to the reader, and although it was a clever ending (and without giving anything away) I didn’t find it entirely believable. However ‘The Guilty Wife’ is a great read, definitely one for a cold winter weekend lying on the sofa, and if the opportunity arose I think it would make a fantastic film. 

Annie Day

You can't help but want to find out what actually happened in what feels like a real life drama. It's hard not to be suspicious of everyone and the story is cleverly written to keep you guessing.

I really liked the impactive start to this book. Within a matter of pages the story had me gripped and I knew I wanted to know how it was going to end up. 

The main character is realistic and flawed and this allows the reader to sympathise with her in her predicament and follow her in her hunt for justice.

I can honestly say that I read it almost to the end without knowing how it could turn out and whilst I ended up guessing part of the outcome there was also a nice twist!

I would recommend this book to my friends as a step above a light hearted read as it kept me engaged and enthralled.

Julie Watkin

Absolutely absorbing thriller. Totally could not out this down without a real fight. Great writing, great plot and a great read.

Bethany is happily married and is seeing her dream of running her own business as a photography flourish.  Bethany is also having an affair with Callum, a high profile business man who whilst also married, it is one only in real evidence when his media commitments require his fellow career focused wife is by his side.

So far, so good if you can live with married people looking for love outside of the marriage.  Its when Callum is murdered that things go bad and things go very bad when the increasing evidence against Bethany is slowly revealed.  But is she the killer or is she actually being framed as she claims?  

The problem is, Bethany cannot go to the police.  She had promised to Callum that their affair would stay secret no matter what to avoid a repeat of a previous affair being revealed to the public by a police officer with devastating consequences.  

As the suspicions of the police move them ever closer to arresting Bethany, she must stay one step ahead in tracking down the real murderer but that will only be possible if she can prove her innocence before the real murderer convinces the police otherwise.

One of those books you desperately want to get to the end to find out the answer but do not ever want it to finish.

Phylippa Smithson

This book will keep you gripped to the end with a twist that you never see coming. Light hearted in places but an enjoyable read.

Bethany has a secret that no one knows, she has taken extreme care to ensure it isn’t discovered. Then the secret is under threat, the man from her affair is a famous billionaire and is cruelly murdered. Bethany is fighting against an unknown party and turns to the only person she can trust.

Cathy Small

What an excellent first novel. Well recommended. And I will look for this author’s next book.

What an excellent first novel. Sometimes the first one can be a bit hit and miss until they get into the swing of things but with this book it’s not the case. 

I had trouble putting it down. 

The characters are well fleshed out and i wanted to find out who had killed Calum and why.


Debbie Patrick

Elle Croft Press Reviews

I read The Guilty Wife in an intense two day sitting. Brilliant. * Niki Mackay, author of I,Witness

What a clever idea! This kept me reading through the night to see how 'the guilty wife
would get out of this one ..... * Jane Corry, author of My Husband's Wife and Blood Sisters

Twisty and fast-moving, The Guilty Wife kept me guessing until the very end! A great read. * Isabel Ashdown, author of Little Sister and Beautiful Liars

A gripping portrayal of a woman under fire, which explores the blurry boundaries of innocence and guilt. The Guilty Wife will make you question those closest to you as the plot unfolds at pace, with an ending that pulls the rug from under your feet. A brilliant debut. * Phoebe Morgan, author of The Doll House *

Full of twists and turns, The Guilty Wife is a gripping tale of betrayal, deceit, and duplicity. The ending will stay with you long after you've finished the last page. Fabulous. * Jenny Blackhurst, bestselling author of How I Lost You and Before I Let You In

'A gripping psychological thriller. This debut is skilfully plotted and I had to keep turning the pages as the tension increased - I just couldn't put it down. And the ending! You just have to read it. I am looking forward to more from Elle Croft.' * Patricia Gibney, bestselling author of The Missing Ones

An accomplished debut with a relentless and intense pace that kept me completely rapt and eager to find out answers. I loved the final twist. * KL Slater, international bestselling author of Safe With Me, Blink and Liar *

'I couldn't put this down. Pacy and gripping.' * Cass Green, author of the number 1 ebook bestseller The Woman Next Door *

Other editions of this book

ISBN: 9781409175421
Publication date: 25/01/2018
Format: Paperback

View All Editions

About Elle Croft

Elle Croft was born in South Africa, grew up in Australia and moved to the UK in 2010 after travelling around the world with her husband. She works as a freelance social media specialist and also blogs about travel, food and life in London.

More About Elle Croft

More Books By Elle Croft

The Guilty Wife
The Guilty Wife
The Guilty Wife
View All Books By Elle Croft

Share this book