Cover Image: The Third Mrs. Durst

The Third Mrs. Durst

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Member Reviews

Definitely a good book to get lost in the lives of the characters and their world.  Beware of trigger warnings to come within this book. Yes a little disturbing but didn’t not take away me continuing to read the book.
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Reader beware: first person narrator, rape of a minor on page (not violent, not very graphic, still clearly rape and on page), intimate partner violence, outright violence.

There are writers whose voices just match with me as a reader, and Ann Aguirre’s is the epitome of that; I have yet to read a book by her that doesn’t suck me in entirely. That doesn’t mean I always buy everything she’s selling, plot- or character-wise; or that I enjoy everything she writes with the same intensity, but it makes the reading experience gloriously immersive all the same.

The upside: I was lost in the world of the book from the first paragraph. The downside: there were moments where I needed some distance from what was happening, and there was none to be had.

The story is told entirely and exclusively from Marlena’s point of view; given the constant, rising tension, there was almost a feeling of claustrophobia as I read. In the ARC, Marlena’s voice goes from afraid to broken to coldly calculating, sometimes almost in the same paragraph, and it’s soon clear that there’s more to her story than it first appears.

Also clear almost from the moment they meet is that Michael Durst is the embodiment of all the dating red flags in every story that ends with a woman murdered by a controlling psychopathic narcissist. That means that there are several scenes that have all the content warnings for anyone who’s ever been in an abusive relationship.

And that’s well before we get to the physical abuse.

I don’t want to give away the turns and twists, of which there are many, so I’ll just say: I tore through this book, even though there were scenes where I had to grit my teeth to do so. And I only did that because I trusted Ms Aguirre.

Even though I do have a couple of quibbles, regarding the set up to the final confrontation, I was not disappointed. I did not see the final chapter coming, and yet, it fits: there’s always more going on with Marlena that meets the eye–much more.

I don’t own the published version, and it may be that some of the minor kinks present in the ARC were worked out before publication, but even if the only differences between ARC and published novel are those I noticed in the first couple of chapters, The Third Mrs Durst delivered. 8.50 out of 10.
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Marlena Altizer is an aspiring model when she meets Michael Durst, slowly their courtship begins and get married too. Marlena realizes Michael’s real face only after they get married, his manipulative ways and wanting to control everything for her. 
Marlena tries to please Michael every chance she gets, but she has also has a hidden agenda which eventually gets revealed after a really unexpected turn of events. 
Thanks to Ann Aguirre, Midnight Ink and Netgalley for approving the ARC.
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The Third Mrs. Durst by Ann Aguirre has been languishing on my Kindle for an embarrassingly long time, especially when you consider the fact that it's a revenge thriller.  I am utter trash for female revenge thrillers and this one starts out very promising.

Marlena is poor white trash who runs away from Kentucky. There's nothing for her there. Oh sure, siblings but also a drug addicted mother and absolutely no future. No, "the littles" will just need to learn what she learned very early on: wait for your moment and get out as soon as possible. Eventually Marlena starts modeling, working her way up the ladder until she catches the eye of Michael Durst - her plan all along.  Michael is handsome, fabulously wealthy, and has buried two wives already. He sweeps Marlena off her feet and then the nightmare begins. Michael controlling her every move. Michael exacting retribution when Marlena crosses some line only he can see.  But while Michael is a monstrous abuser, who is the one who is truly in control? Is Marlena a naïve girl who just wanted security and got more than she bargained for? Or is Marlena a Machiavellian puppet master?

When I started this book I didn't come up from air, plowing through the majority of it in record time. The appeal of the revenge thriller (besides a "righting of the universe" feel) is that they keep you guessing. What is going to happen next? Aguirre chooses a slightly different angle instead, with making Marlena an unreliable narrator. How much is she a victim? How much is she a mastermind?  And it's great stuff until it started to lose steam for me at the 70% mark. That's the start on the road to the ending and it just drags out too much. It also doesn't help that by this point Michael goes from scary cool and methodical to bat-sh*t unhinged and sloppy.  This unspooling, along with some sloppiness on the part of Marlena, took a bit of the shine off and I was relieved to get the final chapter - which was a markedly different outcome than I was expecting after inhaling the first 3/4 of the book.  Solid, but a bit of a whimper there at the end.

Final Grade = B-
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I devoured this book! I love her writing, and this book sounded really fantastic, and it was, and I enjoyed it so much! I loved watching Marlena meet her husband, and the start of their life together-with the suspicion that something was going on. And oh, did I hate her husband!

This was the story of how these two meet-and how everything devolved after they got married. He was controlling when they were dating, but oh, once they were married, the gloves came off. I really hated him. And that scene when she's confronted about what happened to her, yeah, that was horrible! 

Once we found out about one particular and important detail, I knew for sure that there was something going on it. There were these little comments of a plot simmering behind the scenes, and once we got enough information to connect the dots, well, it made it all the more better! 

Wow, I loved that ending! And that reveal at the end, yeah that was really amazing! After all that they'd been through, I found that ending just so utterly satisfying! I loved where they ended up, and I hope they enjoy their happy ending, they've more then earned it! 

This was a really fantastic read, and I can't wait to read more by Ann Aguirre!
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I really liked this author and this book did not disappoint, it was an appropriately paced, page turner that will have me hooked throughout the story.
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I really wanted to enjoy the overall premise of the book, however when the plot is supposed to drive the story and it does not work, there is a disconnect.  The prologue of the book was appealing and I really felt that I was going to read something that would circle back to this point and meet.  Instead, this was a book about a girl from the wrong side of the tracks that supposedly manipulates herself into the life of someone she is targetting to take advantage of, however she never has the upper hand so I cannot really count this as a manipulation.  The book keeps referring to a plan to bring the husband down however the plan never actually exists in the book.  It just keeps getting mentioned while she continues to be the victim.  The one unknown that is uncovered makes no sense because there is not any relationship developed between the two characters so it just seems to come from thin air.  I found this just to be ridiculous.  At the end, I think the reader is supposed to be shocked about what happens because of the imaginary plan, however it just falls completely flat.  This was probably one of the worst books I have read in quite some time.  Thanks for the ARC, NetGalley.
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I've been on a domestic thriller kick, so maybe if I didn't read so many strong ones lately I would've liked The Third Mrs. Durst more. I enjoyed the story, but I wanted a little less predicability. I did love the revenge aspect of it and I think characterization was done well enough to understand Marlena and the fight in her. The pace was fast, so I was never bored. The writing style wasn't my favorite, but I still was able to get into the book. Overall three out of five stars.
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The Third Mrs. Durst is the first book I read from this author and I am so happy I picked it up as it's riveting and compelling. A carefully crafted mystery it's a must-read.

Here we find, Marlena living in her husband's shadow with no control over how she acts, dresses or even the food she eats. Disobeying his orders is not allowed as consequences are too painful.

To outsiders, it seems like she has a perfect life, but that is not the case. Maybe she has a way out if only Death was the solution.

An ending you will not expect.
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This was a fun read but was missing that "wow" facture. Some of the book was too cliched for my test. It fell in parts (especially towards the end). Thanks to NetGalley, the author and the publisher for the arc of this book in return for my honest review. Receiving the book in this manner had no bearing on this review.
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Finally read this book, wish I had read it sooner! I was totally entranced with the main character's determination to change her life and improve her station in life. The book became thrilling after she married. I was so impressed with the twists and turns in the book. I never figured out what was going on. Total surprise, but was happy that it ended the way it did. I can't wait to read more by this author.
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Revenge is a dish best served cold and Ann Aguirre fine-tunes that sentiment in her latest release, The Third Mrs. Durst.  This convoluted concoction of twists and turns will leave you breathless and in shock when the truth is finally revealed.
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Although I did end up enjoying this novel, I found it a little slow. The storyline could have been a little more intriguing at times.
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I really loved this book in a new to me author. The characters and location really and to the story. I can't wait to read the next one. This book keeps you guessing until the end.
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the blurb reads 'Marlena Altizer Durst lives in her husband's shadow. He controls her every move—what she wears, the food she eats, and the friends she's allowed to make. If she disobeys, there are...consequences. And he has all the power.

To outsiders, it seems that she leads a fairy-tale life. But nobody ever wonders if Cinderella was happy after she married the prince. Marlena has traded freedom and safety for luxurious imprisonment, and most days, that seems like a bad bargain. Death may be the only exit she's allowed. Just like his first wife. And his second. Unless she flips the script.'

Marlena is trapped in her abusive marriage but she hatches a plan......   wow this was a fast paced read, a story of abuse and revenge.  Michael, the husband, is utterly despicable and invokes lip curling dislike,  yes, I as rooting for Marlena.  I thoroughly enjoyed the book, i think it would make a great movie too.

Thank you Netgalley, Midnight Ink and Ann Aguirre for giving me the chance to read The Third Mrs Durst.  save it to read when you have a free day because you won't want to put it down once you start.  a big 5 stars from me!
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This book is great! Would definitely recommend. Thanks so much to NetGalley and the publisher for the ARC.
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At 16, Marlena Altizer leaves her mother and siblings behind when she escapes the poverty and hills of Kentucky.

Then by luck, she is noticed by a very notable talent agent and signs her to a modeling career.  The owner of the company, and very rich and widowed x2, Michaell Durst, also notices her before she knows it, they marry and all her fantasies of being rich have come true.  But not long after, her knight in shining armor becomes a controlling monster.  He has created a false persona for her background, decides on her wardrobe, what she needs to learn like another language, and the arts so that she is the "perfect" who is worthy to be the third wife for the powerful Michael Durst.  The controlling starts to get worse and the physical abuse starts.

By the middle of the book, I figured out that Marlena might have planned to become Mrs. Durst and why.  But who is going to survive this murderous cat and mouse relationship?

Even though I figured part of it out, the action just ramped up and the pages started to quickly turn.  Heart pounding suspense!!! An ending that I would never have guessed?  It blew me away!
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It was good, but was very convoluted by the end, and tried to do too many things in the plot that didn't tie up very well at the end.
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Very fast paced read, but fell a little flat in its ending.

After Marlene reaches a dead end in her life, she meets the mysterious and broody Mr. Durst. After they get married, more and more secrets on his side get unveiled, but after some time, Marlene struggles to keep her own past secret to fulfill her goals.

Pros: I flew through this book and it is definitely and easy read, perfect for a weekend at home, if you like plot-driven suspense and thriller novels.

Cons: I would have loved a bit more character development or more nuance in the characters as the variety in them is a bit bland.
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This book is fast paced and thrilling. It’s suspenseful and full of revenge. I enjoyed this story of Marlena, her troubled upbringing and all the drama.
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