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June 13, 2016

The Ex

The ExThe Ex

By: Alafair Burke

Olivia Randall is a top defense attorney in New York City working under the tutelage of her respected mentor. She’s career-minded and likes the comfortable routine of drinks with her BFF and defending the innocent. Her world is upended by a plucky teenager named Buckley who pleads with Olivia to defend her father. This isn’t any defendant, he’s been arrested for murder – and he’s Olivia’s ex-fiancé.

No, this is not an episode of Law & Order – it’s the plot of The Ex by Alafair Burke, and it had me hooked from chapter 1.

Needless to say, Olivia takes the case defending her ex, Jack. Jack has come a long way from their break-up decades before. He was a quiet pushover back then, but he’s built a literary empire as a bestselling novelist. He went on to marry and start a family, only to tragically lose his wife in a mass shooting. Now Jack’s accused of killing the man he feels is responsible shattering his family. He never waivers on his innocence, but right from the start Olivia has doubts. Gunshot residue, mistaken identities, flimsy alibis, and pending lawsuits are only a few of the prosecution’s building blocks proving Jack’s guilt.

Olivia and her team go into overdrive to find witnesses to prove Jack’s innocence. During her investigation, everything Olivia thought she knew about Jack is called into question. His honesty, his feelings for her – even his sweet demeanor. He’s become a stranger with secrets, and it scares her.

The story is told in first person through Olivia, which made me feel more connected to the mystery. The reader learns about new evidence and findings at the same time as Olivia, which makes the twist at the end even more surprising.

One of my favorite things about The Ex is that it’s a pure legal thriller and a standalone novel. There are no major romantic entanglements that distract the reader from the story. Each detail Burke reveals feeds into the mystery to keep it engrossing. You won’t be able to put it down until the end.

Looking for more? Check out some of these fast paced legal thrillers: Rough Justice by Lisa Scottoline, Guilt by Degrees by Marcia Clark and Gray Mountain by John Grisham.
Fun Father’s Day Fact – Alafair Burke is the daughter of bestselling author James Lee Burke.


Review By:  Kirsten Edwards