One man, three wives, the perfect murder. A scintillating novel of betrayal and conspiracy.
Picasso Lane is twelve years old when her father, Oliver, is murdered at their summer beach house. Her mother, Diana, is the primary suspect - until the police discover his second wife, and then his third. The women say they have never met - but Picasso knows otherwise. Picasso remembers the morning beautiful Jewels showed up at their house, carrying the same purse as her mother, and a family portrait featuring her father with two strange boys. Picasso remembers lifting the phone, listening to late night calls with Bert, a woman heavily pregnant with Oliver's fourth child. As the police circle and a detective named Kyle Kennedy becomes a regular fixture in their home, Picasso tries to make sense of her father's death, the depth of his deceit, and the secrets that bind these three women. Cunningly paced and plotted, I Love You More is a riveting novel of misplaced loyalty, jealousy, and revenge.
"When lawyer Oliver Lane is shot to death at the family's summer rental on the Outer Banks of North Carolina, his wife appears a likely suspect. Then two other women who claim to be married to Oliver come forward, and the investigation takes several unusual turns… Told from multiple points of view… Murphy examines the periods before and after the murder while providing tantalizing glimpses into the minds of a manipulative sociopath and his targets… Her fluent style and descriptive language produce a very readable story with well-articulated characters. A thoughtfully written, original and entertaining exploration of events ignited by love and lies." (Kirkus)
"Murphy's debut, an absorbing coming-of-age story, revolves around the murder of Oliver Lane, shot dead at his beach house on North Carolina's Outer Banks. The victim had three wives, starting with his first and legal wife, Diana, a true Southern lady and the mother of his word-obsessed 12-year-old daughter, Picasso… Readers slowly piece together the truth through the eyes of Picasso, the detective, and the wives. Solid, well-defined characters." (Publishers Weekly)
"Oliver Lane was a busy family man. He had three families going, with growing children (and one in the womb) from three different wives. One day, Oliver is found, his scheming head shot off, on the porch of his summer house on an island on the North Carolina coast. His 12-year-old daughter discovers his body. And this girl, Picasso Lane, is the first point of view in Murphy's debut mystery… Tangled relationships…good suspense and a nicely creepy tone throughout." (Booklist)
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I just wanted it to be over
This was a page turner with literary pretentious. I do not mean that in a negative way, just that the author intended this to be more than just a fast-paced "who-done-it". I liked the main narrator, Picasso, read by Dorothy Dillingham Blue, but the character of Oliver was seriously underdeveloped.
I did not like the first person plural sections, spoken by "the wives". Their respective perspectives could have been told in first person singular, as was the rest of the book. The premise of the story also doesn't hold up to much scrutiny, it's a bit implausible. However, for a few hours of character-driven escapism, it was quite enjoyable.
- Ruth Bain