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The Better Sister by Alafair Burke - Review

Monday, June 7, 2021

 


I got this book in my second box from A Box of Stories. I got a subscription that comes every 3 months, which is a good amount of time by me, and I got the mixed fiction box I think. Three of my four books this time had a bit of a crime vibe to them, but that's fine by me as I've been reading quite a lot of crime thrillers so far this year. I haven't heard of this book or author, but I was intrigued by the premise so I picked it up. 

Chloe is the prestigious editor of a women's magazine. She lives in New York with her husband Adam and son Ethan, and they have a second home out in the Hamptons. Adam is a lawyer, but he's fairly recently moved from being a state prosecutor to private practice. Chloe has done many feminist acts in her writing, and receives an award at the beginning of the book. However, the day after, Adam is found murdered in the East Hampton house, and there's evidence of a break in. Suspicion falls first on Chloe - who it turns out is having an affair with one of Adam's colleagues - and then Ethan.

However, the relationships aren't all that they appear. Chloe is Ethan's stepmother, and his biological mother is her own sister, Nicky. Nicky had a somewhat turbulent childhood and early adulthood, but seemed to settle down when Ethan was born. However, after one night when she endangered Ethan's life, Adam took Ethan and moved to NYC where he and Chloe started a relationship a few months later. Nicky has no contact with Ethan, and althought he calls Chloe Mom he does not she's not his biological mother. 

Chloe's parents are both dead and Nicky still lives in their house. But when she hears Adam has been murdered she quickly flies out to support both Chloe and Ethan. Chloe isn't thrilled about this, but feels she has no choice in the matter. 

I didn't mind the first galf of the book, but the second half got stupid and confusing. I didn't like the ending and the motive the person had for murdering Adam, and I thought there were way too many red herrings along the way. I sympathised with almost no one throughout the book, except maybe Ethan, and am giving this three out of five. 

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