~ Audiobook Review: The Soulmate (ARC) ~

Expected publication April 4, 2023

Author: Sally Hepworth

Narrator: Barrie Kreinik & Jessica Douglas-Henry

Audiobook Length: 11 hours 30 minutes

Get ready for a thrilling, addictive novel about marriage, betrayal, and the secrets that push us to the edge.

There’s a cottage on a cliff. Gabe and Pippa’s dream home in a sleepy coastal town. But their perfect house hides something sinister. The tall cliffs have become a popular spot for people to end their lives. Night after night Gabe comes to their rescue, literally talking them off the ledge. Until he doesn’t.

When Pippa discovers Gabe knew the victim, the questions spiral… Did the victim jump? Was she pushed? And would Gabe, the love of Pippa’s life, her soulmate . . . lie? As the perfect facade of their marriage begins to crack, the deepest and darkest secrets begin to unravel.

The Soulmate is my first Sally Hepworth novel, but it won’t be my last. The story explores the cracks that exist in seemingly perfect marriages and relationships while delivering a thrilling mystery. It follows two narrators who each have two timelines. Pippa is the first who narrates the “Now” and “Then.” She is married to Gabriel (Gabe) Gerard and the two of them have just moved to a cliffside cottage outside of Melbourne with their two daughters, Freya, and Asha. Unfortunately, the cottage is near “The Drop,” which is a popular suicide point. Gabe has made it his mission to try and help talking people off the ledge, until one day he can’t, and the woman falls. While Gabe’s story claims he was trying to help the woman, Pippa is not convinced.

The woman who fell provides the other POV in the “Before” and “After” timelines. Amanda, who has been married to Max Cameron, considered him her soulmate. Her chapters go through her marriage and life that slowly tie together with Pippa’s chapters. Like most other stories, the two seem separate until the author puts them together piece by piece. I liked how the two were brought together as it felt plausible in their connection. At first, I found myself more intrigued by Pippa’s story as Amanda’s seemed more straight-forward by comparison. By the end, I enjoyed Amanda’s, but I maintained my higher intrigue with Pippa’s as I had a lot more questions that I wanted answered.

As the cracks in the marriage between Gabe and Pippa are apparent almost in the very first page, I wish that this was drawn out a little longer. Pippa seems to worship Gabe’s looks and puts him on a pedestal saying how he is perfect with everything. I loved the idea of painting their marriage as perfect at the beginning of the story, but I wish it was done with a little more polish. Before the main mystery starts to reveal itself, the novel gives me a lot of questions. The first automatically is why Gabe and Pippa were still married, as I could not connect to it as loving and lasting. The second is the cliff itself as seemed odd they would live there knowingly when they have kids at home to protect and just the general mental health that would come from witnessing multiple suicides. I also questioned the authorities as they seemed to do nothing for the safety at the cliff and just accepted it. Aside from these questions, and many more related ones, the story does keep you hooked once you move past these, and the main mystery begins. Overall, the general mystery was well-done, but the logistical details needed a little more work for it to all come together for me.

**I give a special thank you to Netgalley and Macmillan Audio for the opportunity to read this enjoyable novel. The opinions expressed are completely my own.**

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