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

“The latest novel from lawyer-turned-best-selling novelist Burke is as freshly topical as a #MeToo hashtag, but it unfolds with the slow-burn thrill of pure fiction…. A genuine shocker, sneaky and smart.” — Entertainment Weekly, “Must List”

“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

“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

“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

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

“A master of her craft…Alafair Burke is the New York Times best-selling crime writer that other best-selling crime writers croon over.” — Los Angeles Review of Books

“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

 “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

“Burke, a former prosecutor who is a professor in the law school at Hofstra University, brings authenticity to the legal intricacies of the plot. And she’s skilled at keeping the surprises accelerating, right to the last line. The Wife also offers insight into just why we find such stories so compelling.” — Tampa Bay Times

“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.” —

“Credit Burke with knowing what she writes about. She has served as a criminal prosecutor and now teaches criminal law in New York, the setting for most of her book. . . This cleverly plotted book will surely generate buzz because of the theme. In one scene, a friend of Angela gives her an article about the fact that 80 percent of the assailants are men the victims know, which is why sexual misconduct so often goes unreported. Burke never says whether the magazine article is real or was written by herself. But it sounds real. As does this book.” — St. Louis Post-Dispatch

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.” — Carol Barrowman, for Morning Blend Radio and The Milwaukee Sentinel Journal

“….. [A] whiplash-inducing tale . .. While utilizing fun pop culture references – that unforgettable eyelid moment in Raiders of the Lost Ark, an arch Hunger Games comment — Burke maintains an even hand here, nicely sprinkled with the multiple deftly-doled surprises up her cavernous sleeve.” — Seattle Review of Books

“Burke, the New York Times bestselling author of eleven previous novels, is known for placing her books into the present zeitgeist. That is true with The Wife, which fits perfectly into this current moment with discussions of women’s rights and the #MeToo movement.” — Brooklyn Fans

“This is a domestic thriller, where a woman’s confident belief in her husband is brought terrifyingly under question, and of course Burke does it as well as those who do nothing else and live on bestseller lists (where she’s also at home, of course). It’s set in the city where she also, just literally, lives — New York, in this case the upscale upper East Side and NYU and the Village, and also the Hamptons. She not only never disappoints, she never fails to surprise.” — Shawangunk Journal

“Alafair Burke’s 12th book is a stand-alone novel of psychological suspense and is well into the category reserved for Gone Girl and The Girl on the Train. Burke’s book is better than either one and that’s because she builds her suspense on characters with depth, and her twists, when they come, are both wily and logical and, in this case, built on a story as topical as the daily news. . . Great plot and characters.” — The Globe & Mail

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

“There are so many layers to this gripping story. Burke keeps you guessing at to what the real story is, and there is more than one twist that will leave you breathless. By the time you get to the end, your head will be spinning. “The Wife” is a first-class mystery from a fantastic writer.” — The Auburn Citizen

“Alafair Burke . . . has both the experience and the talent to spin a gripping domestic thriller.” — The Oakridger (TN)

“Perhaps Burke’s greatest gift to her readers is her ability to write and argue for all sides of the story. . . . . Burke refrains from sugarcoating the way such things are handled and looked at. Complex in plot but a very easy read, Burke’s new novel tackles the importance of coming forward, questioning what you know and standing up for those who cannot do it on their own.” — The Ionian (New Rochelle)

“Burke has a talent for constructing plots that are believable and keep the reader guessing until the end. She also manages to weave into her stories topics that are dominating headlines and social media. With one of her previous novels, All Day and a Night, the role DNA evidence plays in convictions was a theme. In The Wife, it’s sexual harassment, making this novel a timely addition to our reading list.” — Woman Around Town

“Burke’s newest novel is mind-blowing, spine-tinglingly good and awe-inspiring in ways that very few authors can aspire to be.  Pick up this book and find yourself lost in it.  Pick up this book and hours later, wonder where you have been, and how you got there.  This is the magic that Alafair Burke works in The Wife, which may very well be the Book of the Year.” — (BookPeople’s blog)

“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

“Suspense, mystery, police procedural and some social commentary – The Wife has it all. This one you’re going to want to pick up. I loved it! — A Bookworm’s World

“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

“[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

“In the current crop of psychological thrillers, The Wife easily wins best of breed.” — The Toronto Star

“A spellbinding novel that will keep her audience up into the wee hours of the night. … The Wife contains no shortage of plot twists; even seasoned suspense fans will find themselves caught off guard by Burke’s zigs and zags.” —

“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.” — Connecticut News

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

“Alafair Burke executes a plot twist at the end of The Wife that left this reviewer gasping in awe.” — Dayton Daily News

“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

“Burke’s female characters are always very involving, with big, strong voices.” — Gillian Flynn, author of Gone Girl

“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

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