The Better Sister by Alafair Burke
eBook review copy; 336 pages
The Better Sister by Alafair Burke is a highly recommended domestic thriller.
Chloe Taylor is married to Adam Macintosh. Adam is the ex-husband of
her estranged sister, Nicky. The two are raising Nicky and Adam's,
Ethan, and Ethan calls Chloe "Mom." Fourteen years ago Chloe helped Adam
get custody of two-year-old Ethan, proving Nicky as an unfit parent.
Although the two weren't involved at that time and had no plans to do
so, things happened and they ended up getting married and raising Ethan
Of the two, Chloe is the more successful. She has always been
ambitious and driven to succeed. Currently she is the very successful
editor-in-chief of Eve magazine in NYC and
has recently gained significant recognition and fame. When Adam is
murdered by an intruder in their second home in East Hampton,
Nicky comes back into their lives. Then Ethan is arrested for Adam's
murder and the two work together to get him exonerated, even as family
secrets are exposed and several hard truths need to be confronted.
Although partly a courtroom drama, The Better Sister is mainly
a domestic thriller. It is not fast-paced, which allows time for a slow
disclosure of some secrets and hidden drama. This is not necessarily a
complicated thriller, rather it is a character driven domestic mystery
where secrets are exposed and everyone is looking for the truth of who
really murdered Adam and what really happened in the past.
The writing is very good, in a pretty straightforward style. The
novel has a strong start and the courtroom scenes were well-done. The
ending isn't surprising, but the narrative is really about the journey
to get there and the secrets that are exposed. Since this novel is
strongly character driven, the characters are all well developed, albeit
keeping all manner of secrets from each other. The negative comments
Chloe reads about herself on social media were a realistic touch that
maybe subliminally could be social commentary, but in this case is tied
into the plot. The Better Sister is a good pick for a summer
vacation read or an airplane book. It will keep you entertained and help
pass the time. 3.5 rounded up.
My review copy was courtesy of HarperCollins.