Author: Alafair Burke
Publisher: Harper Collins
Rating: 4.5 stars
Buy Links: Amazon
Provided by Publisher
Blurb: In this breakout standalone novel of suspense in the vein of Gone Girl and TheGirl on a Train, a woman agrees to help an old boyfriend who has been framed for murder—but begins to suspect that she is the one being manipulated.
Twenty years ago she ruined his life. Now she has the chance to save it.
Widower Jack Harris has resisted the dating scene ever since the shooting of his wife Molly by a fifteen-year-old boy three years ago. An early morning run along the Hudson River changes that when he spots a woman in last night’s party dress, barefoot, enjoying a champagne picnic alone, reading his favorite novel. Everything about her reminds him of what he used to have with Molly. Eager to help Jack find love again, his best friend posts a message on a popular website after he mentions the encounter. Days later, that same beautiful stranger responds and invites Jack to meet her in person at the waterfront. That’s when Jack’s world falls apart.
Olivia Randall is one of New York City’s best criminal defense lawyers. When she hears that her former fiancé, Jack Harris, has been arrested for a triple homicide—and that one of the victims was connected to his wife’s murder—there is no doubt in her mind as to his innocence. The only question is who would go to such great lengths to frame him—and why?
For Olivia, representing Jack is a way to make up for past regrets, to absolve herself of guilt from a tragic decision, a secret she has held for twenty years. But as the evidence against him mounts, she is forced to confront her doubts. The man she knew could not have done this. But what if she never really knew him?
Review: Honestly, I’m in a quandary. The mystery in this book is complex and the ending is one of those hmmm… endings. Do yourself a favor and either read it in one sitting or keep a cheat sheet because you’ll need to keep the players and the activities very clear because shew! it’s convoluted.
Olivia is stunned when she finds out that her ex-fiance from college has been charged with a triple murder. With all the things she knows about him, even if it was many years ago, she has a hard time seeing him doing this. Guilt and a call from his daughter Buckley persuade Olivia to step in as his attorney. While dealing with the mounds of evidence, she starts finding out about the not so nice side of Jack Harris.
But just because Jack’s a liar doesn’t necessarily mean he’s a killer.
The author leads us on a merry chase, persuading us at first that Jack is the victim; then the victim of a frame-up; and then, possibly, the killer. As the prosecution shows their hand and certain facts come to light in Olivia’s research, you the reader and the narrator/Olivia start having some doubts. Did she really know him?
This book feels like a bait and switch, and you’re never sure until the end who the target is and who’s getting framed. I really enjoyed Ms. Burke’s style and insightful writing; I was never sure if I could trust the narrator’s internal thoughts until the very end. Great mystery with a very timely crime that will make it just that more tangible for the readers. Thanks!