(The Perfect Wife) JP Delaney The Perfect Wife AUDIO mp3
(The Perfect Wife) JP Delaney The Perfect Wife AUDIO mp3
(The Perfect Wife) JP Delaney The Perfect Wife AUDIO mp3
The perfect life. -The perfect love. The perfect lie. From the bestselling author of The Girl Before comes a gripping new psychological thriller. . . .
“Dynamic, razor-sharp, and thought-provoking . . . a cutting-edge suspense novel unlike any you’ve read before.”—Mary Kubica, New York Times bestselling author of The Good Girl. (The Perfect Wife) JP Delaney
Abbie awakens in a daze with no memory of who she is or how she landed in this unsettling condition. The man by her side claims to be her husband. He’s a titan of the tech world, the founder of one of Silicon Valley’s most innovative start-ups. He tells Abbie that she is a gifted artist, an avid surfer, a loving mother to their young son, and the perfect wife. He says she had a terrible accident five years ago and that, through a huge technological breakthrough, she has been brought back from the abyss. (The Perfect Wife) JP Delaney
She is a miracle of science. (The Perfect Wife) JP Delaney
But as Abbie pieces together memories of her marriage, she begins to question her husband’s motives—and his version of events. Can she trust him when he says he wants them to be together forever? And what really happened to her, half a decade ago? (The Perfect Wife) JP Delaney
Beware the man who calls you . . . (The Perfect Wife) JP Delaney
THE PERFECT WIFE
Praise for The Perfect Wife. (The Perfect Wife) JP Delaney
“A twisty, completely original psychological thriller that grabs you from the start and doesn’t let go until the very end.”—Karen Cleveland, New York Times bestselling author of Need to Know. (The Perfect Wife) JP Delaney
“Seriously, amazingly, awesomely brilliant . . . speculative fiction mixed up with a mind-bendingly twisty psycho thriller! I devoured it.”—C. J. Tudor, author of The Chalk Man
“A tour de force . . . The Perfect Wife is a chilling and uniquely disturbing twenty-first-century twist on the unreliable narrator that makes for a compulsive and deeply thought-provoking book. It asks troubling questions about selfhood and ‘souls’ and what makes us human, and plays them out in a compelling psychological thriller.”—Cara Hunter, author of Close to Home. (The Perfect Wife) JP Delaney
Advanced Praise for The Perfect Wife
“The Perfect Wife blew my mind! What a wonderful and unique thriller. I haven’t been able to put it down since it arrived, and now that I’ve finished I can’t stop thinking about it! Those last lines . . . wow! JP Delaney has outdone himself with his latest dynamic, razor-sharp, and thought-provoking thriller. The Perfect Wife is a cutting-edge suspense novel unlike any you’ve read before. . . . A must-read!”—Mary Kubica, New York Times bestselling author of The Good Girl
“A twisty, completely original psychological thriller that grabs you from the start and doesn’t let go until the very end.”
“Seriously, amazingly, awesomely brilliant . . . speculative fiction mixed up with a mind-bendingly twisty psycho thriller! I devoured it.”
“A tour de force . . . The Perfect Wife is a chilling and uniquely disturbing twenty-first century twist on the unreliable narrator that makes for a compulsive and deeply thought-provoking book. It asks troubling questions about selfhood and ‘souls’ and what makes us human, and plays them out in a compelling psychological thriller.”—Cara Hunter, author of Close to Home
“Readers . . . will be rewarded with a fresh take on the domestic thriller that will leave them satisfied.”—Booklist
“Puts—almost perfectly—a high-tech spin on the stories of Frankenstein and Pygmalion with a tinge of the Stepford wives. . . . The intriguing plot leads to a chilling and surprising finale that perfectly caps The Perfect Wife.”—Associated Press
“Artificial intelligence might seem like a risky plot device, and the premise of the novel itself is tricky at best, but Delaney pulls it off brilliantly, with an intoxicating knack for suspense. This is the kind of novel ugly words like ‘unputdownable’ were invented for. With the tale of Abbie, Delaney delivers a sharp reflection on misogyny. . . . With every thriller must come a dizzying plot twist and an unforeseeable denouement, as is definitely the case here. . . . Everything about The Perfect Wife feels earned and satisfying. . . . This journey is a captivating, deeply engrossing one.”—The Independent. (The Perfect Wife) JP Delaney
About the Author
The New York Times bestselling author of The Girl Before and Believe Me, JP Delaney has previously written bestselling fiction under other names.
Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved. (The Perfect Wife) JP Delaney
You’re having that dream again, the one where you and Tim are in Jaipur for Diwali. Everywhere you look, every doorway and window, there are lanterns and candles, firecrackers and fairy lights. Courtyards have become flickering pools of flame, their entrances surrounded by intricate designs of colored rice paste. Drums and cymbals throb and sizzle. Surrendering to the din and confusion, you surge with the crowd through a market, the stallholders urging platters of sweets on you from every side. On an impulse you stop at a stall where a woman decorates faces with beautiful Hindi patterns, the smell of sandalwood from her brushes mingling with the acrid, savory cordite from the firecrackers and the aroma of kaaju, roasting cashew nuts. As she paints you, deft and quick, a cluster of young men dance past, their faces painted blue, their muscular torsos bare, then come back, dancing just for you, their expressions deadly serious. And then, the final touch, she paints a bindi on your forehead, right between your eyes, telling you how the scarlet dot marks you out as married, a woman with all the knowledge of the world. “But I’m not,” you protest, almost pulling away, fearful you’re going to offend some local sensibility, and then you hear Tim’s laugh and see the box he produces from his pocket and even before he goes down on one knee, right here in the midst of all this noise and mayhem, you know this is it, he’s really going to do it, and your heart overflows. (The Perfect Wife) JP Delaney
“Abbie Cullen,” he begins, “ever since you erupted into my life, I’ve known we have to be together.” (The Perfect Wife) JP Delaney
And then you’re waking up. (The Perfect Wife) JP Delaney
Every part of you hurts. Your eyes are the worst, the bright lights searing into your skull, the ache in your brain connecting with the stiffness in your neck, soreness all the way down your spine. (The Perfect Wife) JP Delaney
Machines beep and whir. A hospital? Were you in an accident? You try to move your arms. They’re stiff—you can barely bend your elbows. Painfully, you reach up and touch your face. (The Perfect Wife) JP Delaney
Bandages encase your neck. You must have been in an accident of some kind, but you can’t remember it. That happens, you tell yourself groggily. People come around from crashes not remembering the impact, or even having been in a car. The important thing is, you’re alive.
Was Tim in the car as well? Was he driving? What about Danny? (The Perfect Wife) JP Delaney
At the thought that Danny or Tim might have been killed you almost gasp, but you can’t. Some change in the beeping machine, though, has alerted a nurse. A blue hospital uniform, a woman’s waist, passes at eye level, adjusting something, but it hurts too much to look up at her.
“She’s up and running,” she murmurs. (The Perfect Wife) JP Delaney
“Thank God,” Tim’s voice says. So he’s alive, after all. And right here, by your bedside. Relief floods through you.
Then his face appears, looking down at you. He’s wearing what he always wears: black jeans, a plain gray T-shirt, and a white baseball cap. But his face is gaunt, the lines deeper than you’ve ever seen them before.
“Abbie,” he says. “Abbie.” His eyes glisten with tears, which fills you with alarm. Tim never cries.
“Where am I?” Your voice is hoarse. (The Perfect Wife) JP Delaney The Perfect Wife AUDIO mp3
“You’re safe.” (The Perfect Wife) JP Delaney
“Was there an accident? Is Danny okay?”(The Perfect Wife) JP Delaney
“Danny’s fine. Rest now. I’ll explain later.”(The Perfect Wife) JP Delaney
“Have I had surgery?”(The Perfect Wife) JP Delaney
“Later. I promise. When you’re stronger.”
“I’m stronger now.” It’s true: Already the pain is receding, the fog and grogginess clearing from your head.
“It’s incredible,” he says, not to you but the nurse. “Amazing. It’s her.”
“I was dreaming,” you say. “About when you proposed. It was so vivid.” That’ll be the anesthetic, you realize. It makes things richer. Like that line from that play. What was it? For a moment the words elude you but then, with an almost painful effort, a clunk, you remember.
I cried to dream again.
Again Tim’s eyes fill with tears.
“Don’t be sad,” you tell him. “I’m alive. That’s all that matters, isn’t it? We’re all three of us alive.”
“I’m not sad,” he says, smiling through his tears. “I’m happy. People cry when they’re happy, too.”
You knew that, of course. But even through the pain and the drugs you can tell those aren’t everything’s-going-to-be-all-right-now tears. Have you lost your legs? You try to move your feet and feel them—slowly, stiffly—responding under the blanket. Thank God.
Tim seems to come to a decision.
“There’s something I have to explain, my love,” he says, taking your hand in his. “Something very difficult, but you need to know right away. That wasn’t a dream. It was an upload.”
Your first thought is that you’re hallucinating—that this, not the dream about him proposing, is the bit that isn’t real. How can it be? What he’s saying to you now—a stream of technical stuff about mind files and neural nets—simply makes no sense.
“I don’t understand. Are you saying something happened to my brain?”
Tim shakes his head. “I’m saying you’re artificial. Intelligent, conscious . . . but man-made.”
“But I’m fine,” you insist, baffled. “Look, I’ll tell you three random things about myself. My favorite meal is salade Niçoise. I was angry for weeks last year because my favorite cashmere jacket got eaten by moths. I go swimming almost every day—” You stop. Your voice, instead of reflecting your rising panic, is coming out in a dull, croaky monotone. A Stephen Hawking voice.
“The damage to that jacket was six years ago,” Tim says. “I kept it, though. I’ve kept all your things.”
You stare at him, trying to get your head around this. (The Perfect Wife) JP Delaney The Perfect Wife AUDIO mp3
“I guess I’m not doing this very well.” He pulls a piece of paper from his pocket. “Here—I wrote this for our investors. Maybe it’ll help.”
Q: What is a cobot?
A: Cobot is short for “companion robot.” Studies with prototypes suggest the presence of a cobot may alleviate the loss of a loved one, providing solace, company, and emotional support in the aftermath of bereavement. (The Perfect Wife) JP Delaney The Perfect Wife AUDIO mp3
Q: How will cobots differ from other forms of artificial intelligence?
A: Cobots have been specifically designed to be empathetic.
Q: Will each cobot be unique?
A: Each cobot will be customized to closely replicate the physical appearance of the loved one. Social media records, texts, and other documents will be aggregated to create a “neural file” reflecting their unique traits and personality.
There’s more, much more, but you can’t focus. You let the sheet fall from your hand. Only Tim could possibly imagine that a list of factual questions and answers could help at a time like this. (The Perfect Wife) JP Delaney The Perfect Wife AUDIO mp3
“This is what you do,” you remember. “You design artificial intelligence. But that’s something to do with customer service—chatbots—”
“That’s right,” he interrupts. “I was working on that side of it. But that was five years ago—your memories are all five years out of date. After I lost you, I realized bereavement was the bigger need. It’s taken all this time to get you to this stage.”
His words take a moment to sink in. Bereavement. You’ve just realized what he’s trying to tell you.
“You’re saying I died.” You stare up at him. “You’re saying the real me died—what? Five years ago. And you’ve somehow brought me back like this.”
He doesn’t reply.
You feel a mixture of emotions. Disbelief, obviously. But also horror at the thought of his grief, at what he must have been through. At least you were spared that.
Cobots have been specifically designed to be empathetic . . .
And Danny. You’ve missed five whole years of his life.
At the thought of Danny, a familiar sadness washes over you. A sadness you firmly put to one side. And that, too—both the sadness, and the putting-aside—feels so normal, so ordinary, that it can’t be anything except your own, individual emotion.
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The Perfect Wife A Novel.mp3