Maggie never felt as though she belonged until Chris Stevens showed her what true happiness meant. Ten years into their marriage, miscarriages and infidelities have scarred them both. Despite their perfect-couple image, Maggie can’t look at Chris with anything but resentment. When a charismatic stranger offers the opportunity for a little harmless flirtation, she jumps into the game.
But charm soon turns to malice, and a deadly split-second decision forces Maggie and Chris onto a dangerous path fraught with secrets, lies, and guilt. With no one else to turn to—no one she dares trust—Maggie will ultimately learn just how binding marital ties can be.
*May Contain Spoilers*
Kate Moretti shares a thrilling story of marriage and murder in her novel, Binds That Tie. Maggie and Chris have been having problems within their matrimony for years. They've struggled through multiple miscarriages and adultery. All Maggie wants is to feel beautiful, adored, loved. She finds the chance in a seemingly harmless flirtation with an attractive stranger, Logan. Though Maggie doesn't know that Logan's past includes attempted rape, assault, and a restraining order.
Growing tired of the flirtation, Maggie insists that she and Logan no longer keep in contact. Logan strongly disagrees which leads to the murder of Mr. Logan May. When Chris learns of what happened, he is terrified that he'll be the one in handcuffs looking at a long prison stay. Instead of calling the police, Chris opts for burying the body and pretending nothing happened. The next day, the police are knocking on the door asking questions that Chris is not prepared to answer.
Maggie and Chris are the main characters, the novel switching focus back and forth between them. Sadly, neither of them are very likeable characters, reminding me of Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn. Maggie lacks the warmth that a relationship requires. When she is sweet or caring, I'm wondering what her motive is. She's struggled through a lot and that needs to be taken into account when assessing her character, but the consistent blaming of her husband paired with her own adulterous actions reduces the sympathy I feel for her. Chris is a man who takes things into his own hands without thinking through all of the consequences. He cheated on his wife, but still loves her. He's protective, willing to hide his wife's murder victim, but is also unbalanced and selfish -- after all, he fully believed the police would blame him instantly, no matter what the story was.
Though the characters weren't easy to relate to... or easy to like, the plot is absolutely thrilling. Stakes are incredibly high and both main characters are all in. Moretti brings flaws to the forefront and marriage becomes a battle. Binds That Tie is a novel propelled by plot, not by character connection, and will leave readers with goosebumps, wondering how people could treat the ones they love so badly.