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The Housemaid's Secret

Recap, Summary & Spoilers



The Quick Recap and Chapter-by-Chapter Summary for The Housemaid's Secret by Freida McFadden are below.

Ending & Explanations

See the Ending & Explanations for The Housemaid's Secret

Quick(-ish) Recap

Two-paragraph version: Millie is a housekeeper who has helped many women get out of abusive relationships. Millie gets hired by Wendy for that purpose, to get away from her husband Douglas. When things get ugly, Millie shoots Douglas, and he dies. However, Wendy soon claims to the police that Millie was having an affair with Douglas and shot him because he ended things with her. It's revealed that Wendy has been having an affair and wanted to leave Douglas, but the pre-nup meant she would get nothing. The man Millie "shot" was actually Wendy's lover, Russell. But there were blanks in the gun. Instead, Wendy invited the real Douglas over afterwards and shoots him for real, and then framed Millie for it.

Millie reaches out to her ex Enzo and together they figure out what happened. Meanwhile, Wendy finds out Douglas left all his money to charity in his will. Also, he installed a security camera at their place so the police know what really happened. Then, Russell's wife Marybeth confronts Wendy and Russell. She kills Russell and forces Wendy to give a confession and write a suicide note. She drugs Wendy to force her to overdose on heart medication (which it turns out Millie gave to Marybeth for that purpose). Millie is exonerated and moves in with Enzo.


In Part I, Millie is back to doing housekeeping and is seeing a handsome lawyer named Brock, though he doesn't know the truth about her past. For a few years, she was doing "housekeeping jobs" where she and her ex Enzo were helping to free women from bad domestic situations, but she stopped doing it after Enzo left to care for his mother in Sicily two years ago. She's also enrolled in community college to get her degree to pursue a career in social work.

Millie gets fired from a job after the infant gets too attached an starts calling her "mama". After a few weeks of interviewing, Millie takes a job with Douglas Garrick and his wife Wendy. They have no kids and live in a fancy penthouse apartment. Douglas is the CEO of a company called Coinstock. However, Wendy is unwell and never leaves the guest bedroom.

Millie eventually learns that Douglas got her number from Wendy, and that Wendy got her number from one of the last women she and Enzo helped two years ago. Millie insists on talking to Wendy, and Wendy admits that she wants help getting out of her relationship. They secretly arrange for Wendy to go stay with a friend, but Wendy says that Douglas was there waiting for her when she arrived. Millie is fired.

When Millie goes in for her last day, she hears Douglas choking Wendy. Millie grabs their gun which Wendy had showed her before to scare him into stopping. When he doesn't stop, she shoots him. He dies. Wendy reassures Millie that she'll say it was an intruder and wipe the gun and tells Millie to just leave.

Millie is soon questioned for Douglas's murder. Wendy is now claiming that Douglas and Millie were having an affair and that be ended things, which is why Millie shot him. When the TV stations start reporting on the murder, Millie sees a photo of the real Douglas Garrick and realizes the man that she's been dealing with and who she shot is someone else.

Meanwhile, Brock breaks up with Millie when he learns about the shooting and the truth about her past. And Millie has recently learned that Enzo is back in town.

Part II. The book switches to Wendy's point of view. She met Douglas Garrick four years ago with the intent of seducing him, and it was surprisingly easily. Even when they were dating, he irritated her by being sloppy, nerdy and out of shape, but she married him anyway. His best friend insisted on a pre-nup, but it was generous, so that she would still get $10 million in the event of a divorce. Two years into the marriage, she meets Russell, who reminds her of a fitter and more put-together version of Douglas.

She falls in love with him and decides to just divorce Douglas. But Douglas finds out, gathers evidence of her cheating and lets her know that the pre-nup stipulates that she gets nothing if there's evidence of infidelity. He tells her she can stay in their penthouse for a few months, but then he's selling it. Knowing that she'd get nothing in a divorce, but everything if Douglas were dead, Wendy eventually starts fantasizing about Douglas's death. Wendy remembers that her friend once mentioned a "cleaning woman" who had helped other women out and would be willing to do anything if she thought a woman was being abused.

Wendy concocts the plan to make Millie think that Russell is Douglas and that she's being abused. The night that Millie "shoots" Douglas, it's really Russell and the gun is filled with blanks. Instead, after Millie leaves, Wendy invites the real Douglas over and she shoots him with the intention of pinning it all on Millie.

In Parts III and IV, Millie reaches out to Enzo for help. Together, they track down the man that Millie thought was Douglas, who is actually Russell, and learn that he is alive and well. They also learn that he has a cabin, which is where they suspect he is staying.

Meanwhile at the cabin, Wendy and Russell are celebrating over wine when Wendy gets a call from Douglas's lawyer. He says that Douglas actually changed his will a month ago to donate all his assets to charity. Wendy then gets a call from the NYPD to say that her husband installed a security camera in the back entrance of the penthouse last year, and they know that Douglas hasn't been in there in months. They also know that Millie left the penthouse prior to Douglas arriving there the night he was killed.

Wendy gets off the phone to find the Russell is dead. His throat has been slashed. She sees that Marybeth, his wife, is there. Marybeth forces Wendy to write a confession and suicide note, and then she tells her that she's spiked her wine with a heart medication so she will overdose and die.

The book ends with Millie meeting with an officer who tells her she's in the clear and that she should reach out to him, Officer Rodriguez, if she ever needs help with the abuse victims that she works with. Millie thinks about how she was the one who told Marybeth about her husband's affair and who gave her the heart medication to use on Wendy.

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Chapter-by-Chapter Summary


Prologue
Part I
Part II
Part III
Part IV
Epilogue

Prologue

The book opens with someone thinking that they are going to be murdered that night. It all started with a cleaning job.

They’re splayed on the floor of a cabin, blood all around them, but then they realize that they’re not injured and the blood isn’t theirs. Next they hear the sound of approaching footsteps.

Part I

Chapters 1 – 2

Wilhelmina “Millie” Calloway, 30, is a housekeeper for Amber Degraw, who she cleans for twice a week. Millie also helps out with Amber’s 9-month-old daughter, Olive. Amber asks Millie to stay tonight. Millie is working towards a degree in social psychology at a local community college and has class tonight, but she reluctantly agrees to stay. Before Amber walks out, Olive calls Millie “Mama”. Amber gets upset when she hears this and fires Millie.

Heading home, Millie thinks about how it’s hard to get jobs since she can’t pass a background check due to her prison record. Millie used to take other jobs that weren’t just about cleaning (referencing how she helped get rid of abusive husbands), but she hasn’t taken a job like that in years.

Her thoughts are interrupted by the sound of her boyfriend of six months, Brock Cunningham, 32, knocking at her door. They were supposed to meet at a restaurant, but Millie didn’t show since she was upset over being fired. Brock, a handsome lawyer from a well-off family, is understanding when she tells him what happened.

When Millie mentions being stressed out about paying the rent, Brock suggests that she move in with him. As much as she is tempted, there’s so much Brock doesn’t know about her, so she says no.

Chapters 3 – 4

Three weeks and nine interviews later, Millie still hasn’t landed a new gig yet, and she’s getting worried. She down to $200 in her bank account. Today, she doing a tenth interview, this time with Douglas Garrick in the Upper West Side. As she enters the doorman building, Millie feels like she’s being followed, a sensation she’s felt ever since she was fired a few weeks ago. She sees a black Mazda sedan with a cracked right front headlight that looks familiar.

Douglas is in his early forties and handsome. The penthouse apartment is spotless and beautiful. He says that his wife Wendy Garrick (née Palmer) hasn’t been feeling well so they need some help around the house with cooking and cleaning. He also requests that she use their cleaning supplies since Wendy has sensitivities to other products.

He offers Millie a job

Chapter 5

In class, Professor Kindred covers the Kitty Genovese case, a 1964 rape and stabbing that took place outside her apartment where multiple neighbors heard her screams for help, but no one came to her aid. Her attacker, Winston Moseley, even left and returned ten minutes later to stab her again. The case is used as an example of the “bystander effect” where “individuals are less likely to offer help to a victim when there are other people present”.

After class, Brock finds her since they’re supposed to go celebrate Millie’s new job. She brings up the Kitty Genovese case and he notes that what often gets taught about it is inaccurate. In actuality, there were not that many witnesses, many thought it was a lovers’ quarrel, others did call the police and one of the neighbors did try to help.

Millie thinks about how the case bothers her because she’s someone who feels the “itch” to help others in need, which is why her ex boyfriend (who is not around anymore) originally suggested that she pursue social work as a career.

Millie also tells Brock about her new job, which is about 5 blocks away from his own apartment. Brock says that Douglas Garrick is the CEO of a company called Coinstock, and his firm helped them file a patent once.

Today, Brock also brings up that his parents want to meet her. Millie meekly agrees. As much as she likes Brock, he doesn’t know about her past. Also, while he feels like he’s in a place where he’s ready to settle down, Millie is still figuring her stuff out and isn’t there yet.

Chapter 6 – 8

Millie arrives for her first day of work at the Garrick’s but no one seems to be home. She goes to do the laundry but is unsettled to see that all their dirty laundry in their hamper, which Douglas previous pointed out to her, is folded neatly. She notices someone in the guest bedroom with green eyes, which she assumes is Wendy, and she tries to introduce herself, but the door quickly closes.

Millie then goes to make some dinner and sees that she’s been given very specific instructions on what to purchase and what to prepare and how. Around dinnertime, Douglas returns and mentions that Wendy probably won’t be joining him for dinner. Millie leaves for the day.

That night, Millie tells Brock about her day and they joke around about her strange new employers.

Chapters 9 – 10

A month into the job, Millie still has not met Wendy. Today she hears crying coming from the guest bedroom and insists on staying there to check on her. But the woman hisses at her to leave her alone to rest. Later, Douglas has brought home flowers and a inscribed diamond bracelet for Wendy. Millie tells Douglas about the crying, and he asks if Millie spoke to her. Millie fibs and says no. Douglas reiterates that it’s better to just leave her alone because she’s “not well”.

Millie thinks about how something is definitely off, and her imagination runs wild with ideas of what could be going on. It’s the type of stuff she would’ve tried to “fix” in the past, but she stopped doing that ever since her ex Enzo Accardi left. Millie thinks back to her relationship with Enzo and how together they helped a dozen women escape their abusive relationships, with Enzo sometimes helping to arrange things like new passports or identification for them. Enzo was the one who suggested social work as a career for Millie. They began as friends, but eventually things became romantic between them.

However, one day, Enzo got a call saying that his mother in Sicily was sick and he needed to go back to help. For a long time he wasn’t able to go back to Sicily because of a powerful had he’d gotten on the wrong side of. But now that man is out of the picture, so Enzo went to back. At first it wasn’t meant to be permanent, but then he stayed.

Today, Millie runs into her downstairs neighbor, Xavier Marin, is is weirded out by him knowing both her unit number and her name. He offers to go with her grocery shopping, but Millie declines.

Chapters 11 – 14

Today, Millie enters the Garrick penthouse and hears muffled shouting and the sound of glass breaking. Douglas sees her and tells her to leave the groceries and go. She notices a tear in his shirt. He also asks her to return the diamond bracelet he previously bought for Wendy. He’s short and a little rude to her when she asks him about the receipt.

Millie head back to her place, but Xavier intercepts her again, creepily asking if she wants company tonight. When she declines, he grabs her and presses her against him. Millie manages to mace him and shoves him away. Xavier goes tumbling down the stairs. She kicks him a few times to check if he’s alive. When he moans, she dials 911, deciding she doesn’t want to go back to prison for this guy.

Soon, a police car and ambulance arrive. The policewoman questions Millie. Later, another officer arrives, Officer Scavo, to speak to Millie again. Officer Scavo asks Millie about what she was wearing during the incident and asks her to repeat her story. He tells her that Xavier is giving a different version of events where she simply freaked out at him while he was being friendly toward her and maced him. Xavier claims that she attacked him because he wasn’t responding to her flirtations.

The officer says that there’s a witness that saw her kicking him when he was on the ground, and Xavier now has a few broken ribs. The officer points out that she has a history of violent behavior and lets her know that Xavier hasn’t decided whether to press charges yet or not.

Afterwards, Brock shows up and she wants to tell him what happened with the officer, but it would mean explaining her prison record and she’s not ready to do that yet. She goes to stay with Brock.

Chapters 15 – 17

Millie is doing laundry at the Garrick’s when she notices a bloodstain on the collar of one of Wendy’s nightgowns. She also has an awkward and stilted interaction with Douglas when he demands that she hang up his coat for him.

Soon, she gets a call from Officer Scavo saying that Xavier has decided not to press charges against her, though he warns her to learn to control her temper.

Meanwhile, Brock has been mentioning that she really needs to find somewhere else to live, which Millie agrees with since Xavier has not been arrested for assaulting her. She finally tells him when they’re sitting at an outdoor table at dinner that night that they should move in together. Brock is happy, and he tells her he loves her.

Right afterwards, Millie is surprised to catch a glimpse of Douglas Garrick crossing the street at an intersection behind her. He’s walking with a blond woman who she knows is not Wendy. They seem to be arguing. Millie excuses herself and starts following him. They arrive at a brownstone and the woman gets her keys and they go inside.

Outside the brownstone, Millie notices the same black Mazda sedan again that she thinks she’s seen before. She takes note of the license plate this time, 58F321. She start to wonder if Douglas is the one following her since both he and the car are around here, but can’t imagine why he would.

Chapters 18 – 20

Millie and Brock are packing for her upcoming move when a police car drives up. She sees that Xavier has been arrested and he’s saying something about some heroin found in his apartment not being his. Xavier tries to make a run for it, but he doesn’t get far. Despite her low opinion of him, Millie is surprised to hear that Xavier is on drugs. With Xavier out of the building, Millie tells Brock they don’t need to move in together anymore. Brock is upset and disappointed, but he accepts the situation.

Today, Millie goes into the guest bathroom at the Garrick house to find part of a bloody handprint on the sink. There’s also drops of blood on the floor leading into the guest bedroom. Douglas has made very clear that Millie is supposed to leave Wendy and the guest bedroom alone, but Millie is concerned and knocks on the door. Wendy responds that she’s fine and to go away, but Millie insists on seeing her.

Millie is shocked to see that Wendy is covered in bruises. Wendy says that it’s from her medications. She explains that she takes blood thinners that make her bruise easily. When Millie starts saying that Wendy needs to go to a hospital, Wendy stops her and tells her not to get involved in this situation. She says that it’s best if Millie just leaves and tells her to “just walk away.”

Chapter 21 – 23

In class, Professor Kindred talks about how an acclaimed violinist, John Bell busked for cash in a subway station and barely anyone stopped to listen. Meanwhile, Bell has sold out shows where the tickets are hundreds of dollars. The class discusses what happened, and Millie suggests that people didn’t want to help him. When he was busking, people felt like they were being asked to help if they stopped to listen so they didn’t stop.

Afterwards, Millie runs into Amber Degraw who is friendly towards her. Amber notes that she saw Millie coming out of Douglas Garrick’s apartment, and Millie says that she’s working for him now. When Olive calls Millie “mama” again, Amber gets upset all over again and rushes away.

Soon, Millie gets a call from the service that she places her ads for housekeeping work with, saying that they never placed her ad because her card was declined. Millie realizes she used the wrong card, but more importantly that no one ever saw her ad. While most of her interviews were as a result of her responding to other people’s ads, there was one interview that was unsolicited — Douglas Garrick’s.

Millie wonders how Douglas would have gotten her contact information, and she wonders why she keeps seeing that black Sedan. When she talks to Douglas again, she asks him how he got her contact information, and he tells her that Wendy got her information from a friend.

That night, Millie goes to the Garrick residence and knocks on Wendy’s door to ask her how she got her information. After some pushing, Wendy says it was from Ginger Howell, one of the last women Millie and Enzo helped out before he left two years ago. Millie then demands to know why Wendy asked Douglas to contact her, and Wendy responds with “I think you know why.” Wendy says that he pushed her and broke her wrist, which is the only reason why he let her hire a housekeeper, otherwise he never would have let anyone in here.

Wendy tells Millie that if she left, Douglas would use all the tech and cash in his power to track her down. Wendy also says that she has some cash stowed away. Wendy gives her an expensive bracelet to get rid of, saying that she hates the jewelry her husband gives her and wants Millie to get rid of it. Wendy also warns her that Douglas is a very dangerous man and that Millie should just leave, but Millie says that they can figure something out together.

Chapters 24 – 25

Soon, Brock calls and says they need to have a talk about their relationship. Millie then goes up to the Garrick’s penthouse and finds Wendy standing in front of the elevator, also saying they need to talk.

Millie is surprised to see Wendy outside the guest bedroom. They go to sit in the living room. Wendy says she felt stronger knowing someone was on her side, and she reached out to an old friend of hers, Fiona, who lives on a farm in upstate New York. Fiona says she can stay with her for as long as she needs. Wendy asks her to drive her to Fiona’s place, and Millie readily agrees.

Wendy keeps reiterating that Douglas is a very dangerous man. Millie tells her that she’s not worried even though a part of her actually is a little worried.

Chapters 26 – 29

The next morning, Millie goes to pick up her car rental. She had pick a non-descript grey Ford, but the woman at the counter says they only have a red Hyundai available. Millie reluctantly agrees to take it instead.

It’s a five-hour drive to the area in upstate New York. The plan is to drop Wendy off at a motel, and then Fiona will come pick Wendy up from there. As they load up the car and head out, Millie is alarmed to see a black Mazda sedan behind her with a cracked headlight. Millie’s not able to see the full license plate, but by the time she gets onto the highway it appears that it’s gone, so she tells herself that it was just a coincidence.

As they drive, Wendy asks to stop for McDonalds. As they park, Millie realizes she never cancelled her dinner that night with Brock. A part of her feels like she’s sabotaging their relationship. She calls him, and he’s angry, but she tells him she loves him and it calms him down.

They get to the motel, and Millie reserves the room and checks in. She sees Wendy off, and then she heads home.

Chapters 30 – 32

After Millie returns the rental car, she’s standing on the street corner outside when she sees the black Mazda sedan again. The door opens and Millie is surprised to see Enzo exit the car. He admits that he’s been back for three months but has been keeping an eye on her. Millie demands to know why he wouldn’t just say hi, and Enzo says that it’s because he wasn’t sure if she was mad at him.

Millie asks why he’s back now, and Enzo says that his mother passed away. Enzo says that he still loves her and that he hasn’t been with any other women since they broke up.

Millie tells him she doesn’t need to looking out for her, but Enzo disagrees. He points out that they didn’t do anything about Xavier Martin so he had to take matters into his own hands.

Finally, he asks about what she’s been up to and she tells him. She then reminds him that she’s seeing someone else now and that he needs to stop following her around. He tells her that if she needs him to call, but Millie tells Enzo he should move on and go find a girlfriend.

Chapters 33 – 35

The next night, Millie has dinner with Brock, and he suggests taking a job as a part-time receptionist at his firm. He says they need someone to work weekends, which means it wouldn’t interfere with her school schedule which would be perfect. He also tells her that his parents are coming into town and he wants them to meet her.

Their conversation is interrupted by a call from Wendy. She says that Douglas found her and brought her back. Despite this being an important conversation with Brock, Millie excuses herself, saying there’s an emergency. She promises that they can talk tomorrow instead.

When she gets to the apartment, Wendy says she thinks she has a few broken ribs and that Douglas was waiting for her when she arrived at the farm. Wendy swears she didn’t tell anyone she would be there. Millie decides that she’s even more determined to get Wendy out of this.

In order to help Wendy, Millie continues to work for the Garrick family. Wendy soon shows Millie something she found on the bookshelf. There’s a hollowed out dictionary with a gun inside. Wendy considers just killing Douglas with it, but Millie tells her she doesn’t want to go to prison for this. Wendy asks if Millie has ever shot a gun before, but Millie tells her that’s not going to happen.

Chapters 36 – 39

Later, Millie finds herself still mulling over the situation with Wendy. She thinks about calling upon Enzo, who is able to arrange things like fake IDs that she can’t. She thinks about how happy she was to see Enzo and how that’s not fair to Brock.

Her thoughts are interrupted by a call from Douglas saying that Wendy is feeling better and that her services are no longer required. He offers her some Mets tickets as a thank you for her work, and Millie looks down at the Mets t-shirt she’s wearing. Freaked out, she texts Brock and asks him to come over.

Millie goes in for her last cleaning session with the Garricks, and she thinks about how she’ll glad to be away from the them, though she’s still determined to help Wendy from the outside. She plans on calling Enzo and perhaps just letting him handle things by himself.

That night, Douglas and Wendy get into an argument because she went out to a restaurant with a friend. Douglas is upset that she left the house, since he’s worried people will see her face and think that he’s a monster. He also comments that the restaurant she went to seems too romantic. Suddenly, it sounds like he’s choking Wendy.

Millie races over to the bookshelf to grab the gun that Wendy showed her. She bursts into the room and demands that he let Wendy go, but he ignores her. Finally, Millie lets loose a shot. Douglas lets go and collapses as blood pools around him. He’s dead.

Wendy thanks Millie and says that they should wipe down the gun and say that an intruder shot him. Wendy tells Millie that the cameras at the back entrance leading up to the apartment don’t work, so no one will know Millie was here. She says that Millie should leave and that she’ll take care of this. As Millie leaves, she sees Wendy smiling over Douglas’s dead body.

Chapters 40 – 42

Millie is wreck by the time she gets home, and she cancels her talk with Brock yet again saying that she’s not feeling well. He offers to come by and take care of her, but Millie declines.

The next morning, Millie receives a visit from Detective Ramirez of the NYPD. Ramirez wants to question her about Douglas’s death. Millie knows she should have a lawyer present, so she calls Brock. He meets her at the station. When they’re alone, he tells her that she’s a serious suspect in this murder and that they’re currently searching her apartment.

Finally, Millie admits to Brock that she has a prison record. She says she killed a man who was attacking a friend of hers. Brock then asks her why they think she killed Douglas, but Millie can’t get herself to admit the truth to him. She lies instead and says she doesn’t know and that she left the apartment after she finished up her work.

Chapter 43 – 45

Two hours later, Ramirez joins them to question Millie. Millie tells the detective that she did some cleaning at the apartment and left at 6:30 PM.

As they talk, Detective Ramirez makes it clear that he believes Millie and Douglas had a sexual relationship. She pulls out a burner phone that Douglas had been using to text Millie to confirm her work hours, but Millie sees how the texts like “Are you coming over tonight” could seem sexual. Any texts about groceries or laundry are gone. Millie doesn’t have the texts on her phone because Wendy thought she should delete them. Additionally, they pull out the bracelet that Wendy had asked her to dispose of. The inscription of the bracelet makes it sound like Douglas gave it to Millie instead.

Additionally, there’s a six-thousand dollar dress they found at her apartment that Douglas had asked her to return, but had never given her the receipt for. They’d both forgotten about it. Lastly, they mention the hotel room she rented for Wendy, and they say that Douglas was having a business meeting at that same motel that night.

Finally, Detective Ramirez concludes that Douglas must’ve ended their affair last night and Millie shot him in response. He says that her fingerprints are on the gun and that Wendy has told them all about their affair.

At that point, Millie starts trying to tell them about how Douglas was abusive and her attempts to help Wendy, but things continue to go downhill. She still doesn’t admit to shooting Douglas, and she isn’t able to explain why Wendy’s fingerprints aren’t on the gun.

When Millie and Brock are alone, Brock is clearly very upset. Millie is not able to explain why a women she was supposedly helping is now trying to frame her for murder. Brock tells her he can’t represent her, breaks up with her and leaves.

Millie is surprised that she doesn’t get arrested, but she’s told not to leave town. When she gets home, her landlady tells her she doesn’t want Millie bringing the police to the building all the time and wants her out in a week. She tries to call Wendy, who doesn’t pick up. Meanwhile, she sees Wendy on TV, who is now bruise-free. She talks about what a wonderful man her husband was. Then, the TV shows a photo of Douglas Garrick, and Millie realizes she has never seen that person before. She has no idea who she shot last night or who the man she’s been dealing with is.

Part II

Chapters 46 – 58 (Wendy)

(The book now switches to Wendy’s point of view.)

Wendy thinks to herself that even though Douglas was not physically abusive, he was someone who made her life miserable and humiliated her. Millie was simply collateral damage. Wendy then narrates the history of her relationship with Douglas.

Four Years Ago. Wendy is invited to an art gallery by her friend Alisa, and she attends with the intention of seducing Douglas Garrick, who she knows is one of the wealthiest men in the country. When she sees Douglas, he is a bit unkempt and eager and she realizes this will be easier than she thought.

Three Years Ago. Wendy is now engaged to Douglas, and she plans to marry him, though she finds him constantly irritating. He is sloppy and always running late. He is also a hopeless nerd. His lawyer and best friend Joe Bendeck recommends a prenup. Douglas reassures him that it’s not necessary, but Joe insists and Douglas agrees to get it signed. The resulting pre-nup is very generous and would give Wendy $10 million in a divorce but nothing else, but Wendy still pushes back at it, try to coax Douglas into getting married without it. But Douglas listens to Joe and ensures that they sign it.

Two Years Ago. Once Wendy and Douglas are married, they purchase a penthouse apartment. They already have 5-bedroom house on Long Island, but Wendy wants a place in the city. Douglas has dreams of them having kids together.

Later, Wendy is having lunch with her friend Amber when she brings up how their mutual friend Ginger Howell recently got divorced. Amber brings up how someone name “Millie” helped Ginger get out of her abusive relationship with her husband. Amber explains that Millie is a cleaning woman but she help take care of issues women have with their husbands. Amber says sometimes it’s a matter of getting women the right resources like a lawyer, or helping the women disappear, but it’s rumored that she’s even taken people out when necessary.

One Year Ago. A year into their marriage, Wendy wants them to each much healthier and Douglas is tired of it. He leaves to go have some KFC and Wendy decides she’s lost all respect for him. Wendy decides that her marriage is falling apart, and she shops a lot to make herself feel better. Douglas’s receptionist Marybeth recommends her husband’s furniture store, and Wendy goes out to see it. There she meets Russell Simonds, who Wendy realizes is the same height and coloring as Douglas, but much more fit and put together. Essentially, he’s the man that she had once hoped to turn Douglas into.

Six Months Ago. Wendy has been sleeping with Russell for the last six month ever since meeting him at the furniture store, and she thinks she’s falling in love. She’s been bolder about her affair lately, and she thinks to herself that she’d be fine with taking her $10 million and leaving Douglas.

She and Russell are at dinner one night when she realizes her credit cards are being declined. She calls Douglas, but he doesn’t pick up. When she finally sees him, he confronts her about her affair with Russell. Douglas wants them to go to therapy, saying that he still sees her as the mother of his children, but she tells Douglas that she doesn’t even think she can have kids. She tells him she wants a divorce, but Douglas tells her that their prenup stipulates that if there’s evidence of cheating then she gets nothing.

Douglas then admits that the prenup was always his idea, he just wanted Joe to suggest it so she wouldn’t be angry with him. He also says that he’s already collected evidence of her infidelity. Wendy says in that case she won’t agree to a divorce, but Douglas says that he’s cut off her credit cards either way and all the accounts are in his name. He also says that he’s allowing her to stay in the penthouse for a few months, but he’ll be putting it on the market soon. At that point, Wendy thinks about how if they divorce, she gets nothing, but if he’s dead then she gets everything.

Four Months Ago. Russell suggests that Wendy simply walk away from it and that they can be together even without the millions, but Wendy knows that Russell’s income wouldn’t be enough for her. Instead, Wendy fantasizes about Douglas’s death. She remembers Amber talking about how this “Millie” person would be willing to do anything if she thought a woman was being harmed by her husband.

A Few Weeks Ago. Wendy uses make up she learned to apply from a YouTube tutorial to make it look like she’s bruised up. However, in order to really sell it, she needs Russell to punch her in the face and split her lip since she can’t fake that with makeup. Wendy has invested a lot in this scheme — selling stuff to pay for Millie’s salary, purchasing the dress that the police will suspect Douglas gave Millie, etc., so she needs to sell it. She goads Russell into punching her.

The Night of Douglas’s Murder. When Millie shoots “Douglas” (who is actually Russell), it’s with a blank. However, afterwards, Wendy swaps out the blanks with real bullets and invites the real Douglas over. She gets him to come over by saying that she’s ready to sign the divorce papers. Russell is supposed to come out and shoot Douglas, but he gets cold feet. He tries to convince her again that they can just divorce their partners and live off of his income.

Before they sign the papers, Douglas tells Wendy that they could have a fresh start instead of getting divorced. He talks about giving away his money to charity instead of letting it come between them. She pulls out the gun and shoots him.

Part III

Chapters 59 – 61

Millie calls Enzo, partially for help, but also because he’s the one who can verify that she wasn’t with Douglas that night at the motel because she met up with him afterwards. He immediately offers to come over. She tells Enzo what the situation is.

Enzo says that he looked up the Garricks after she mentioned them and that the penthouse is not their primary residence. Instead, they have a house in Long Island. Millie starts to realize that perhaps that’s where the real Douglas Garrick lived. He also says that if she didn’t check the body, perhaps the person she shot wasn’t dead.

Millie further explains that the man she met must’ve always come in through the back entrance where Wendy says the security cameras don’t work, so there isn’t going to be a record of him coming and going. Enzo suggests they try to track down the person she believed to be Douglas, and Millie remembers that one time she saw him walking into that brownstone.

Enzo also helps her clean up her place now that the police have searched her apartment. Afterwards, they kiss and Millie thinks about how she never came close to feeling for Brock the way she does for Enzo.

Chapters 62 – 65

Early the next morning, they scope out the brownstone. Millie spots the blond woman that “Douglas” had been walking with. Enzo goes to approach her and says he’ll charm her. When he returns, Enzo says that she’s the assistant to the real Douglas Garrick and that the man that Millie met is her husband, Russell Simonds. With a quick google search, Millie and Enzo pull up a photo of Russell and confirm it’s him. Enzo also says that Russell is alive.

Enzo calls his contacts and finds out the Russell has no police record. He’s also able to find out that in addition to the brownstone, Russell has a second residence which is a lake-side cabin.

As they investigate, Brock calls. He apologizes for running out on her during the police questioning, saying that he should’ve stayed since she asked for his help. He tells her that the police are saying that they took her clothes from her hamper and they tested positive for gunshot residue. He wanted to give her a heads up and wishes her good luck.

She tells Enzo and he reassures her that no matter what, he’ll see that she is freed. Millie wants to go to the lake-side cabin because she suspect that’s where Russell is staying. Enzo tells her not to go, but Millie is determined to do something.

Part IV

Chapters 66 – 69

At the cabin, Wendy and Russell are celebrating the upcoming arrest of Millie, though Wendy notices that Russell seems tense, likely because of how uncomfortable he had been about Douglas’s death. Wendy then goes into the kitchen and notices that a window is open. She closes it, and then tries to distract Russell about his grievances about the murder.

They’re drinking wine in the hot tub when Wendy gets a call from Joe Bendeck. Wendy thinks about how Joe never liked her, but how she’ll soon be getting all of Douglas’s money and ownership over his company. However, Joe informs Wendy that Douglas changed his will last month to leave all his assets to charity. Joe lets Wendy know that she needs to vacate the house and penthouse since they’ll be liquidated soon.

The next call Wendy gets is from the NYPD. They say that they went to arrest Millie, but that she wasn’t there. Ramirez also tells her that Douglas put in an extra security camera for the back entrance last year, which Wendy did not know about. He says that they’ve reviewed the tapes and it looks like her husband has not been to the penthouse in many months, so it seems odd that Millie would’ve been having an affair with him there if he hasn’t even been there. And the night that he was murdered, Millie was seen leaving before Douglas arrived.

Ramirez then says they’re sending a squad car over for her so they can clear up these issues with her. When she gets off the phone, Wendy calls for Russell, but looks for him and sees that his throat has been slashed open.

Chapters 70 – 72

Wendy confirms that Russell is dead. Wendy calls out for Millie, wondering if she’s the one who did this. Wendy slips on Russell’s blood and ends up splayed out on the floor. Then, she hears the sound of footsteps.

She sees Millie’s silhouette and that she’s holding a knife. Wendy starts offering her money and anything else in hopes of not ending up like Russell. Then, Wendy sees that she’s wrong and that it’s Marybeth, not Millie that’s there. Marybeth sits down and accuses Wendy of ruining her 20-year marriage. Marybeth asks Wendy if she killed Douglas, and Wendy admits that they did.

Still clutching the knife, Marybeth demands that Wendy write a confession. Wendy reluctantly pens a confession. Then, she says that she wants Wendy to write her suicide note, saying that she wants her to add that she can no longer live with her actions and that she’s killing them both. Wendy does what she’s told, hoping that she can deal with the note after she calms Marybeth down.

Marybeth tells Wendy that she’s going to give her a Digoxin overdose, which is a heart medication. In fact, Marybeth tells her that she put it in the wine so she has actually already ingested it. Marybeth then tells her to mentally prepare herself for a slow and painful death.

Chapters 73 – 74

Millie spends the night sleeping in Enzo’s car because she isn’t ready to be arrested yet. When she steps out, an officer finds her and tells her that they’re looking to speak with her, but it’s not required. She sees a ton of missed calls from the NYPD and from Enzo. Enzo tells her that Wendy is dead and that she killed herself.

In the interrogation room, Detective Benito Rodriguez informs Millie of the developments with the security camera footage and with Wendy’s confession. While relieved, Millie feels resentful of Wendy that she’s made it harder for her to trust since she was so certain that Wendy really was a victim.

They also let her know that they’ve looked into it, and he’s learned that Millie has a reputation for helping victims of domestic violence. He approves of the work she’s doing, and he lets her know that in the future, she should consider him to be a resource if she needs it. He hands Millie his card. Millie meets with Enzo and heads out.

Epilogue

Three months later, Millie is now living with Enzo. He managed to charm her landlord, Mrs. Randall, into letting her stay despite her threats to evict her.

The door buzzer rings, and it’s Brock. She hands him a box of his stuff. Before he leaves, he asks if she’s seen a bottle of digoxin that used to be in her medicine cabinet, but she says no. Millie thinks about how the police assume that the digoxin that Wendy overdosed on came from Douglas’s stash since he was on the medication, but it didn’t.

Instead, the night Wendy was at the cabin, Millie had gone to visit Marybeth to have a nice long talk. She also gave Marybeth the bottle of digoxin. Marybeth had then recalled Russell’s large life insurance policy and decided to pay him and Wendy a visit at the cabin.

Millie thinks about how easy it would have been for Wendy to simply slip her husband some extra medication to pretend that he overdosed by accident, but instead she made some bad judgment calls and underestimated Millie.

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