Bookseller and mystery/crime fiction aficionado Scott M. reviews the “perfectly executed and deliciously satisfying” (Chandler Baker) new novel from local author May Cobb.
May Cobb’s attention-getting debut, Big Woods, showed promise as her being a writer to watch. She has delivered on that promise in her follow up, The Hunting Wives. Here the subject matter is much more lurid and fun.
Lifestyle writer Sophie O’Neil uproots her family to Mapleton, TX for a quieter life. It soon becomes too quiet and she yearns for some excitement. She finds it in a group of housewives headed by the alluring and oil-rich Margot. They meet up to drink, skeet shoot, and flirt with men. The one rule is that it never goes beyond talk. That rule and several others get broken, leading to Sophie becoming a murder suspect.
Cobb doesn’t back away from the lurid aspects of the story. She uses small details to build mood and pull you in as she captures these woman and the wild lives they hide and become addicted to. The author creates the literary equivalent of the Goodfellas steadicam shot through the Copa, building up the indulgences until they crash into the jagged-cut aftermath.
The Hunting Wives is full of great twists and reveals. May Cobb grounds them in believable emotions from Sophie’s point of view. You could argue that the book ends up being a morality tale, but it enjoys its immorality before it gets there.