The Ex: A Novel – Alafair Burke

I received this book for free from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

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The Ex: A Novel – Alafair BurkeThe Ex by Alafair Burke
Published by HarperCollins Publishers on January 26, 2015
Genres: Crime, Legal, Thriller & Suspense
Pages: 304
Source: Edelweiss
Buy on Amazon

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 fifteen-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 twenty 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?


The Ex had such potential. A mass shooting and a young wife and mother dead. Then a few years later the father of the shooter is murdered and the prime suspect is the husband of the wife killed. Open and shut case right? Well no, he has an unbelievable alibi and a shark for a lawyer. The same shark he was once engaged to, who will do everything in her power to prove his innocence. Sounds fantastic right? And it was until I figured out if he did it about 40% though the book. From then on I kept picking out the clues and it lost its fun. The Ex is another mystery hiding as a thriller. I love thrillers that keep me on the edge of my seat, tense with anticipation. Mysteries really don’t do it for me as I spend the whole time seeking those little tidbits to prove my theory. So, I was right in the end but lost the tension I had hoped for.

Alafair Burke can write. I really enjoyed her turn of phrase and her ability to set a vivid scene without over describing. The world building was fine, I wasn’t immersed but I wasn’t confused. The plot was also fine, I had hoped for tense and gripping and it wasn’t. The characters were mostly great. Olivia and Jack played off of each other well. The sidekick best friend and daughter were at turns abrasive or needy and I didn’t click with them.

The Ex is a great mystery novel, I just don’t care for mysteries. As a thriller, I found it lacking. But I heartily recommended it to my mom who loves a good mystery and she has already requested it from the library. So mystery lovers this is a great pick for you. For those like me, who want a gripping thriller, I would pass.

Favorite lines – On one side were my suspicions. I had been so convinced from the second Buckley called me that Jack had to be innocent. But what grounds did I have for my assumptions? On the other side was my guilt. This was Jack—good, honest, and decent. Who was I to suspect him of something so heinous? And then there was a voice trying to reconcile the two sides. Maybe he was guilty. Maybe he was an angry, vengeful psychopath. But if he was, who had made him that way? Me. I did that.

Biggest cliché – “Everything that happened was all my fault.”

 Have you read The Ex, or added it to your TBR?

Rating Report
Overall: three-stars

Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • 2016 New Release Challenge
  • Mount TBR Reading Challenge
  • Netgalley & Edelweiss Reading Challenge
  • The Goodreads Challenge

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Posted January 26, 2016 by Laura in Reviews / 1 Comment

One response to “The Ex: A Novel – Alafair Burke