Robert Goolrick has crafted a superb tale of suspense in A Reliable Wife. The premise is simple: a rich man needs a wife, so he advertises for one, and, as the book opens, she is hurtling toward him on a train. The book only picks up speed from there and never slows down. Excellent, well-drawn characters revolve around each other throughout this carefully plotted novel. The chill Wisconsin winter provides the perfect Hitchcockian background for a story of love, lust, money, greed, poison, murder, and passion. The atmosphere is rife with danger while each chapter is almost a perfect short story of its own, drawing each character together for a final, stunning, and unpredictable ending. Rich prose makes this a quiet literary thriller of the highest order.