Thursday, January 25, 2018

Review: Alafair Burke's The Wife

Today Sharon Long reviews Alafair Burke's new novel, The Wife, which was released this week by Harper Collins. This psychological suspense novel is the follow up to Burke's novel, The Ex, nominated for the Edgar Award for Best Novel. The Wife was just named one of the 16 Best Books to pick up this winter by Oprah’s Magazine reading room.

Angela thought her life was almost perfect. Her husband, Jason, was a successful best-selling author with a podcast and his own company. Her son, Spencer, was doing well at his Manhattan private school. But most importantly, her past was well behind her and hidden. She was living a quiet, mundane life out of the spotlight until the first claim of sexual harassment came. Jason and Angela were having dinner at their favorite restaurant and he tells her a funny thing happened at work. Jason goes on to explain that one of the interns thinks he is a sexist pig. Anglea asked what happened. He explains the intern mentioned getting engaging and he made some comment about her being too young to settle down. Jason says he cannot remember the details and dismisses it as nothing. 

Three days later Angela goes through her morning routine of catching up on Facebook and sees Jason’s name. She thinks he is trending but after clicking on the link, Angela knows differently. She turns on the tv clicking through the news shows stopping when she sees a picture of Jason in the right-hand corner. Then she sees the banner across the bottom saying the economist is accused of sexual abuse by an intern. Angela does more digging on Facebook finding out the name of the intern. She tries to reach Jason on the phone but to no avail. When he comes home, she questions him, but still, Jason dismisses it as nothing.
Jason hires a lawyer to figure out his next move. And then another woman comes forward claiming Jason raped her. Angela still believes he is innocent until one of the women is missing. Now she is not so sure. She begins questioning every trip and late-night meeting Jason had. In addition, his lawyer is pushing for Angela to release her story to the media. Her perfect world begins unraveling.
This is a fast-paced page-turner. Angela is a realistic character whom readers can relate to. I along with Angela, did not know whom to believe or trust. What I enjoy most about Alafair’s books are the legal aspects. This story made me think about what I would do in Angela’s place – protect my son, my husband, or my secret? The ending was an unexpected but pleasant surprise. The Wife is similar to The Ex because both are full of strong women who protect the ones they love. I must say though, I personally preferred The Wife.
This was provided to Mystery Playground by the publisher. This review is fair and independent.

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