In this breakout standalone novel of suspense in the vein of Gone Girl and The Girl on the 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 15-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 20 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?
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Decent story but didn't grab me
This book was okay. It is not a standout in terms of the writing, artfully-drawn characters, or super mysterious and thrilling plot. I got through it, but it won't be a memorable one. Comparisons to Gone Girl and even Girl on a Train, which was not a favorite of mine, are a pretty darn big stretch. The writing nor the plot or characters lend themselves to making this book a blockbuster by any means.
Yes, now that Ms. Burke is on my radar, I'll keep looking for other books by her that might be good reads.
I liked Olivia Randall. I thought her character was the main reason to read this book. Watching her change from the beginning of the novel toward the end, raising her confidence and getting into kick-butt lawyer mode, was a kick. As a lawyer myself, I can definitely relate to her struggles.
Not needed, but can see a sequel due to a pretty good twist at the end.
I didn't love it- I could figure out too many parts of the mystery and just wasn't enthralled. But I didn't hate it. If you are a fan of the genre and you've got a credit sitting there, it is worth a try.
A must listen!
- Laura McCollough