The Wife

His Scandal, Her Secret

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Acquired by Amazon Studios for adaptation to feature film.

Book Club Questions here.

From New York Times bestselling author Alafair Burke, a stunning domestic thriller in the vein of Behind Closed Doors and The Woman in Cabin 10—in which a woman must make the impossible choice between defending her husband and saving herself.

When Angela met Jason Powell while catering a dinner party in East Hampton, she assumed their romance would be a short-lived fling, like so many relationships between locals and summer visitors. To her surprise, Jason, a brilliant economics professor at NYU, had other plans, and they married the following summer.

For Angela, the marriage turned out to be a chance to reboot her life. She and her son were finally able to move out of her mother’s home to Manhattan, where no one knew about her tragic past.

Six years later, thanks to a bestselling book and a growing media career, Jason has become a cultural lightning rod, placing Angela near the spotlight she worked so carefully to avoid. When a college intern makes an accusation against Jason, and another woman, Kerry Lynch, comes forward with an even more troubling allegation, their perfect life begins to unravel. Jason insists he is innocent, and Angela believes him. But when Kerry disappears, Angela is forced to take a closer look at the man she married. And when she is asked to defend Jason in court, she realizes that her loyalty to her husband could unearth old secrets.

This much-anticipated follow-up to Burke’s Edgar-nominated The Ex asks how far a wife will go to protect the man she loves: Will she stand by his side, even if he drags her down with him?

Praise for The Wife

“Written by a former prosecutor with a genius for plot, this thrill ride of a novel takes a hard look at loyalty and the violence a secret can cause—especially when that secret involves a revered public figure accused of rape.” — O, the Oprah Magazine

“This might be the most gripping, insightful work from the best-selling author Alafair Burke yet. She poses a seemingly impossible, if undeniably compelling, challenge: a woman must either save her life or defend her husband, but not both.” Entertainment Weekly

“The stress of a marriage under siege comes breathtakingly alive as Burke’s twisty plot unspools… The Wife is a timely and triumphant thriller from a writer at the absolute top of her game.” — Strand Magazine

“A truly superior plot…labyrinthine and subtly layered [and] timed to perfection.” — Thriller Books Journal

“Fresh and timely. … The issue of sexual harassment and assault gets a new spin in Alafair Burke’s gripping new novel, The Wife.” — Associated Press

“Alafair Burke has become a virtuoso of this popular subgenre in the mystery, one forged on the tropes of Hitchcock’s “Suspicion” and “Notorious,” where marriages are suspect and spouses are suspicious.  . . . Burke is a smart and entertaining writer, and her novels frequently capture the zeitgeist of our times in perceptive and page-turning ways (sexual harassment is at core of this one).” — Minneapolis Star Tribune

“For your group if: You like your #MeToo meme as a fast-paced narrative.” — Bethanne Patrick, Washington Post, Best New Thrillers

If you liked Gone Girl, Girl on the Train (don’t get me started on books with GIRL in the title; they’re WOMEN!!!), Burke has become a virtuoso of this popular subgenre in the mystery (untrustworthy narrators and suspicious marriages) . . .  Burke is a smart and entertaining writer. You’ll get sucked into this one.” — The Milwaukee Sentinel Journal

“Burke’s knowledge of criminal law and police procedures shines in this tangled plot with an unreliable narrator. Is anyone whom they seem to be?  Verdict: Edgar-nominated Burke (The Ex) has written a timely, riveting, and deeply resonant psychological suspense novel focused on sexual harassment and varying degrees of assault in both domestic and workplace settings. Fans of Linda Fairstein will devour this.” — Library Journal

“With plot twists and turns to the very end, this is a tantalizing follow-up to The Ex that will keep pages turning.” — Booklist

“[A] page-turner…. Classic domestic-thriller elements—the too-perfect couple, the unreliable narrator, the troubled past—are given a good workout in this satisfying round of ‘Who’s the Psycho?’” — Kirkus Reviews

“[A] roller-coaster of a domestic thriller.” — Publishers Weekly

“[Burke is] one of the more subtle suspense writers around. This has all the makings of a standout novel.” — LitHub

“[Burke] brings authenticity to the legal intricacies of the plot. And she’s skilled at keeping the surprises accelerating, right to the last line.” — Tampa Bay Times

“Alafair Burke has been one of our finest suspense novelists for some time now, but in The Wife she takes new risks, and the result is her best novel yet.” — CT News

“Timely…Burke delivers an addictive and emotionally complex thriller that explores resonant contemporary issues like family life, social media, celebrity obsession and sex crime with her trademark forensic eye and powerful psychological insight. The Wife is domestic noir at its very best… this sizzling, simmering, serpentine thriller sees the former prosecutor turned acclaimed author on her very best form… the dénouement is a corker. A delicious treat for all crime fiction fans.”— Lancashire Evening Post

The Wife portrays in spellbinding suspense a story that peels away the layers of the complex characters involved in a sexual scandal, and keeps the pages turning to its shattering climax.” — BookReporter

“Twisty and schemey…. Burke knows what she’s doing.” — Seattle Times

“In a year in which readers are anticipating new crime fiction from many of the genre’s greatest practitioners, Alafair Burke has already thrown down the gauntlet with The Wife. This is the first truly great novel of 2018; a veritable instant classic.” — Bolo Book Reviews

“Really solid story telling. Revelations are well paced and I really didn’t guess the ending until nearly there. Excellent thriller. The author paced the story perfectly, revealing secrets and possible explanations with perfect timing. I read this over two days. It was very unexpected with twists and turns in the plot that had me guessing.” — A Musing Reviews

“Taking one from the headlines, Alafair weaves a tale of suspense that takes you beyond simply the accused, but how that one betrayal takes you down a road where if you step on the brakes, your life spins out of control.  .. . . This is one of the best book and my favorite of 2018 and I can’t wait to see where Alafair takes us next.” — Dru’s Book Musings

“A subtly sneaky, emotionally complex, and utterly addictive novel of psychological suspense, The Wife delivers on all fronts. Burke always comes through with twisty plots and strong female characters, but she’s at the top of her game here.” — Lisa Scottoline, author of Exposed

“An intriguing, twisty psychological thriller, The Wife had me tearing through the pages, never sure which characters to trust. Smart, suspenseful, and absolutely riveting.” — Megan Miranda, author of All the Missing Girls

“Alafair Burke always delivers. The Wife is a timely, gracefully written exploration of family, crime, and the current media-soaked, celebrity-obsessed, smartphone-crazed moment. Highly recommended.” — William Landay, author of Defending Jacob