Avid reader/reviewer and editor. I don't pull punches when I review, love it or hate it, you get what I think.
Michelle Richmond is, without a doubt, a talented writer with a gift for storytelling. That said, I did have some problems with this particular tale.
The Marriage Pact started out well enough, it was suspenseful and gripping. The problem was that I kept feeling like I had read something similar. Then, it hit me. The idea of the marriage pact was different, but the fundamentals, the lengths the people behind the pact would go to achieve their goals, were very reminiscent of a Stephen King short story from the late 70's, one that was also featured later in a movie anthology.
I decided to let that go and just enjoy the story for what it was, but again, much like King's work from around that same period, the story veers off several times with extraneous details that, in my opinion, were nothing more than a distraction.
As mentioned, the story is a Psychological Thriller and as I said earlier, it does require quite the suspension of belief. It is certainly creepy at times will have a reader's heart racing, but once the people behind the pact take action, there isn't much in the way of realism.
Jake and Alice are both educated people in their 30's. He's a therapist and she's a lawyer. To say too much would give spoilers, but I found myself unable to envision any circumstance that would have these two educated adults succumbing to the dictates of pact rules and punishment - a fact that had me rolling my eyes through much of the story.
That said, there was a interesting twist at the end that I certainly didn't see coming, one that is the reason for that third star in my rating.
Of course, this is just one person's opinion, so if you enjoy Psychological Thrillers, by all means, check this one out. I will say that the author's writing style and talent are such that this one book will not deter me from reading future books by her.