For some spouses, the deal-breaker is the extramarital affair. For Beatrice Wicker, not even her husband’s secret (well, kind of secret) love child is a deal-breaker. But Beatrice, who narrates “Leave the Lights On,” Liv Andersson’s skillful and intricate new thriller, has her reasons.

For the past 10 years, Beatrice has been living in a grand house on the coast of Maine with her husband, Josh Wicker, the founder of a blue-chip architectural firm. Josh brings prestige to Cape Morgan, creates jobs for locals, and is otherwise a “pillar of the community,” as Beatrice refers to him with an apparently straight face. As for Beatrice, she draws a salary from the Wicker Foundation, the architectural firm’s nonprofit arm, which is refurbishing an abandoned asylum – according to Beatrice, it was once a “so-called ‘health sanctuary’ ” for women diagnosed with hysteria. Beatrice, who dabbles in painting, hopes to turn the Ross Island property into “a sanctuary for creative people to leave the stressors of the real world.”

A galactic stressor launches “Leave the Lights On”: an 18-month-old boy is abducted from a Cape Morgan school playground. The local news pans to the boy’s mother, and from the woman’s long platinum-blond hair, a strand of which Beatrice once found on Josh’s sweater, she knows it’s “her”: Carly Baker, the woman Josh has been having an affair with for several years. Beatrice has always known about their baby, who she “wanted to hate…but how could I?…Josh’s flesh and blood – and the life I could not give my husband. / Would not give him.” Not accommodating enough for you? Here’s Beatrice on Josh, who can’t be said to be making a valiant effort to be discreet: “I felt defensive of my husband, despite the lipstick rings and the nauseating scent of lavender. He wasn’t a perfect man, but I loved him – needed him – in spite of those imperfections. Maybe even because of them.”

As I said, Beatrice has her reasons, which gradually become clear to readers following a conversation she has with Detective Rebelo while on a volunteer-driven search for the missing child at a state park. Rebelo confides in Beatrice that the presumed kidnapper left a mangy old baby doll on Carly Baker’s porch. Beatrice knows exactly what this means. The doll wasn’t intended to menace Carly; “It was a warning meant for Emma Strand,” she admits to herself. “It was a warning meant for me.”

From here the story shifts from present-day Maine to twenty-years-ago West Virginia, where Beatrice/Emma was living a different sort of life entirely, and for a good chunk of the novel, the narrative seesaws between the two time spans. In the present day, Beatrice keeps her head down, well aware that a betrayed – and some might presume hysterical – wife might be perceived to have a motive for making off with her husband’s love child. As Beatrice toils away on the Ross Island property, she guiltily harbors the knowledge that apprising the cops of her past could possibly help them find the missing kid. Of course, this would also ruin her carefully curated life.

Readers who come to “Leave the Lights On” expecting a domestic drama revolving around a sordid love triangle – shades of “Fatal Attraction” – will be quickly disabused. But what Andersson, who also writes mysteries as Wendy Tyson, serves up is richer. The book’s conclusion will likely split readers, but as endings go, it’s far from the expected one. There’s a bit of potboiler prose here (a stomach churns, some bile rises, a face burns ruby red), but it’s offset by a couple of impressive twists (“Foiled!” I wrote in my notes on one occasion when Andersson outsmarted me). And I’d be remiss in neglecting to mention that there’s much here for fans of old-house porn: there are floors of “random width white pine that had mellowed to a pumpkin-colored patina,” and so on.

By their very definition, thrillers owe us no more than to divert and surprise us; to Andersson’s credit, “Leave the Lights On” also offers something to think about: how the “right” thing to do isn’t always clear-cut, how there are still pernicious double standards for male and female behavior. When at one point Beatrice thinks of Detective Rebelo, “He’d already decided I was unstable, and nothing I said would be taken seriously,” the suggestion is that, had she lived in an earlier time, Beatrice might well have ended up at Ross Island – not as an artist, but as a patient.

Nell Beram is coauthor of “Yoko Ono: Collector of Skies.” Her work has recently appeared in “The New Yorker” and at Shelf Awareness and

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