Book Review: The Wife by Alafair Burke - More2Read

The Wife by Alafair Burke

His Scandal
Her Secret

From New York Times bestselling author Alafair Burke, a stunning domestic thriller in the vein of Behind Closed Doors and The Woman in Cabin 10—in which a woman must make the impossible choice between defending her husband and saving herself.

When Angela met Jason Powell while catering a dinner party in East Hampton, she assumed their romance would be a short-lived fling, like so many relationships between locals and summer visitors. To her surprise, Jason, a brilliant economics professor at NYU, had other plans, and they married the following summer. For Angela, the marriage turned out to be a chance to reboot her life. She and her son were finally able to move out of her mother’s home to Manhattan, where no one knew about her tragic past.

Six years later, thanks to a bestselling book and a growing media career, Jason has become a cultural lightning rod, placing Angela near the spotlight she worked so carefully to avoid. When a college intern makes an accusation against Jason, and another woman, Kerry Lynch, comes forward with an even more troubling allegation, their perfect life begins to unravel. Jason insists he is innocent, and Angela believes him. But when Kerry disappears, Angela is forced to take a closer look—at both the man she married and the women she chose not to believe.

This much-anticipated follow-up to Burke’s Edgar-nominated The Ex asks how far a wife will go to protect the man she loves: Will she stand by his side, even if he drags her down with him?

Praise for The Wife:

“This might be the most gripping, insightful work from the best-selling author Alafair Burke yet. She poses a seemingly impossible, if undeniably compelling, challenge: a woman must either save her life or defend her husband, but not both.” (Entertainment Weekly)

“Written by a former prosecutor with a genius for plot, this thrill ride of a novel takes a hard look at loyalty and the violence a secret can cause—especially when that secret involves a revered public figure accused of rape.” (O, The Oprah Magazine)

“An intriguing, twisty psychological thriller, The Wife had me tearing through the pages, never sure which characters to trust. Smart, suspenseful, and absolutely riveting.” (Megan Miranda, author of All the Missing Girls)

“A subtly sneaky, emotionally complex, and utterly addictive novel of psychological suspense, The Wife delivers on all fronts. Burke always comes through with twisty plots and strong female characters, but she’s at the top of her game here.” (Lisa Scottoline, author of Exposed)

“Alafair Burke always delivers. The Wife is a timely, gracefully written exploration of family, crime, and the current media-soaked, celebrity-obsessed, smartphone-crazed moment. Highly recommended.” (William Landay, author of Defending Jacob)

“Burke’s female characters are always very involving, with big, strong voices.” (Gillian Flynn, author of Gone Girl)

“A timely, riveting, and deeply resonant psychological suspense novel…. Burke’s knowledge of criminal law and police procedures shines in this tangled plot with an unreliable narrator. Is anyone whom they seem to be?” (Library Journal)

“[A] page-turner…. Classic domestic-thriller elements—the too-perfect couple, the unreliable narrator, the troubled past—are given a good workout in this satisfying round of ‘Who’s the Psycho?’” (Kirkus)

“With plot twists and turns to the very end, this is a tantalizing follow-up to The Ex that will keep pages turning.” (Booklist)

“[A] roller-coaster of a domestic thriller.” (Publishers Weekly)


The author, successfully takes you under her spell into the world of the wife, the husband, and the bad deed, and then with crafted storytelling, weaves you through the plot of various matters, some unsettling histories, and then a heart at conflict with itself with a metamorphosis and a fruition of some terrible things.
The wife, not the good wife, not the bad wife, the wife, that is all for now folks.
She has brought to the reader a look over one picket fence into a house, that usual two adults married with child, ones who should have trust, vows and honesty thing, but then some kind of accusations rise and then all things go under the microscope. They say the history finds the character in the tale, as you creep forward in reading, the author slowly pulling the curtain up on this family with integrity in the play of things, dilemmas and truths unravelling, what will be with all this conflict is the hook in the narrative.
There a various boxes to tick, compelling yes, intriguing yes, empathy yes, for the wife, as the story unravels you will find yourself in some perplexities and then some clarity.
The prose is lucid and the chapters right, there is now drop in the intrigue and mystery of the narrative.
You envision it all coming alive off the page, all the problematic things contained within the tale, vices, evils and things that should not be in a fairy tale and not in this world we reside in, but only in The Wife.

Reviewed by Lou Pendergrast on 30 January 2018