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Wednesday, April 10, 2019

#ATBR2019 Review: The Better Sister by Alafair Burke @alafairburke @harperbooks @jessmapreviews

The Better Sister 
by Alafair Burke

Thanks to Harper for these advanced copies!

Publisher: Harper
Publish Date: April 16, 2019
336 Pages
Genres: Crime Fiction, Thriller, Mystery

Though Chloe was the younger of the two Taylor sisters, she always seemed to be in charge. She was the honor roll student with big dreams and an even bigger work ethic. Nicky was always restless . . . and more than a little reckless—the opposite of her ambitious little sister. She floated from job to job and man to man, and stayed close to home in Cleveland.

For a while, it seemed like both sisters had found happiness. Chloe earned a scholarship to an Ivy League school and moved to New York City, where she landed a coveted publishing job. Nicky married promising young attorney Adam Macintosh, and gave birth to a baby boy they named Ethan. The Taylor sisters became virtual strangers.

Now, more than fifteen years later, their lives are drastically different—and Chloe is married to Adam. When he’s murdered by an intruder at the couple’s East Hampton beach house, Chloe reluctantly allows her teenaged stepson’s biological mother—her estranged sister, Nicky—back into her life. But when the police begin to treat Ethan as a suspect in his father’s death, the two sisters are forced to unite . . . and to confront the truth behind family secrets they have tried to bury in the past.

My Review:

Part domestic thriller and part legal thriller, when you marry your sister's ex husband and raise her son as your own surely nothing can go wrong... right? Chloe may be the younger sister but she was the one who became successful in her career while Nicky found the perfect man to marry and have a child with.  Soon Nicky's ways catch up with her and Chloe comes to assist Adam, Nicky's husband, to get Nicky the help she needs and to get Ethan (their child) out of danger. Turns out the past tends to repeat itself and while Chloe goes on to marry Adam and raise Ethan, like with most things, what you see isn't always what you get.

It seems that domestic thrillers seem to have the same types of issues and formats.  If you've read enough of them, you need something to really wow you or something that's a bit different from the norm.  The Better Sister, while written well and is a page turner, hits all the usual themes.  There's nothing wrong with this whatsoever, I just need something more.  I appreciate the linear time format and the singular point of view.  However, no reveal made me go WHAT?! I was just more in an ahhhhhh... yep, there it is!

Listen, as far a domestic thriller goes, this is definitely in the higher percentage of well written ones. I absolutely flew through the book and enjoyed the partial court room drama that was thrown in for good measure.

I'll certainly take The Wife off my shelves and up it on my TBR backlog list.  As my first by Burke, I think it did well in satiating my thirst for the rich families that seem perfect on paper.


Jessica's Review:

Last year I had my introduction to Alafair Burke when I picked up THE WIFE. I couldn't believe I hadn't picked up anything by her before! So I was very excited to snag a copy of THE BETTER SISTER to see what was in store for us next. Without a doubt, if you're a fan of the domestic thriller genre, then you need to have Burke on your TBR list in some way!

We have two sisters, Chloe and Nicky. A complicated relationship to say the least. They couldn't be more opposite of each other - Chloe is the youngest and had a strong work ethic that got her a scholarship to an Ivy League school and a coveted publishing job. Nicky was less focused but got married to Adam and had a son, Ethan. Well, fast forward over a decade and Chloe and Adam are now married and she is raising Ethan. After Adam is murdered, the estranged sisters must unite once again to protect Ethan and to try and keep their past secrets buried.

Like I mentioned earlier, if you're a fan of the domestic thriller/suspense genre then you'll absolutely love this. This also has some legal/courtroom thriller elements to it, which was a nice addition! What I've come to notice with Burke is that we will get strong characterization, a fluid story line and pacing, enough suspense to keep pulling you along, and great writing. I would highly recommend picking this one up or anything else in her back log!

3.5 stars

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