2.5 stars Starts off strong, but turns into a mess The Better Sister is a domestic thriller about a woman good sister who marries her bad seed sister s former husband and raises her sister s son as her own Sounds juicy, right It gets even better because 10 years later, good sister s husband is murdered and her step son is a prime suspect Now, she must do whatever it takes to prove her son s innocence, even if it means reuniting with her crazy sister The Better Sister has so much potential I got sucked in immediately and couldn t wait to see what would happen next But at a certain point, it just got boring Then I began to notice weird gaps in time and some plot holes I pushed these issues to the side with the hope that they would be ironed out But unfortunately, they were not As I read further, the plot began to spiral I felt like Burke was just trying to do too much and it became a rather messy and chaotic read I thought that the ending was going to save it, but there was one final twist that just irked me to no end I also wanted to know about the two sisters relationship What plays out does not match the potential of the plot I loved The Wife but perhaps it set me up to have too high of expectations for The Better Sister I received an ARC of this book from Edelweiss and Harper Collins in exchange for an honest review. 4.0 Stars The Better Sister is the third Alafair Burke book I have read in less than a year, so I guess I would say I am officially a fan The Better Sister is written from the first person perspective of Chloe, a famous feminist and publisher, whose husband, Adam, is brutally murdered inside of their home This situation is complicated by the fact that Chloe is a stepmother to Ethan, Adam s son, whose mother is Nickie, Chloe s sister This leads to complications and many interesting reveals as the story unfolds The author does a much better job than she did in The Ex of keeping the details of the plot unpredictable and keeps numerous plausible suspects floating about throughout the mystery I really enjoyed the courtroom antics in this novel too The way the defense choreographed certain elements with the client and the family for maximum effect was ingenious and reflected things I have seen from better attorneys in court The only problems I had with the book was the ending was implausible considering all that would have had to take place in order for it to have occurred as described and the inconsistencies in Chloe s actions and statements the narrator from the start to the end of the novel The author couldn t seem to decide whether Chloe was a reliable or unreliable and her way of speaking about certain characters at one point did not mesh with how she spoke of them later Criticisms aside, I enjoy the author s writing style and am looking forward to reading mysteries from her in the future. A solid, entertaining read, but I think I m growing weary of the domestic thriller, as they are all seeming to read about the same way Full review to come I received a review copy via the publisher Chloe and her husband Adam seem to have a happy marriage Chloe is a famous and successful journalist and Adam is a successful lawyer Ethan is Adam s sixteen year old son by Nicky, and Ethan considers Chloe Mom and Chloe loves Ethan as if he were her own Chloe created the Them, too movement and is lauded for promoting women s rights and strengths to stand up for themselves Behind the scenes, we find that Ethan s mom, Nicky, is Adam s ex wife and their marriage ended very badly with Chloe siding with Adam and against Nicky, during the divorce proceedings Chloe and Adam s marriage is not going well at all, with Adam resenting Chloe for pushing him into the private sector while he would have prefered remaining a prosecuting DA Things really go bad for everyone when Adam is murdered and Ethan is charged with murdering his father Chloe and Nicky, who ve had nothing to do with each other for the last fourteen years, team up with each other to support Ethan and attempt to find out what really happened the night Adam was killed and what was going on in Adam s life, leading up to his murder This book has a lot of things I enjoy, a murder mystery, police investigations, and courtroom drama It s a slow moving story, so patience is needed to get to the bottom of the mystery Based on this story, I plan to read Alafair s other two books in what she considers a thematic trilogy, The Ex and The Wife. From Alafair Burke New York Times bestselling author of the runaway hit, The Wife comes another twisty tale of domestic noir When a prominent Manhattan lawyer is murdered, two estranged sisters one the dead man s widow, the other his ex must set aside mistrust and old resentmentsbut can they escape their past Though Chloe was the younger of the two Taylor sisters, she always seemed to be in charge She was the honor roll student with big dreams and an even bigger work ethic Nicky was always restlessandthan a little reckless the opposite of her ambitious little sister She floated from job to job and man to man, and stayed close to home in Cleveland.For a while, it seemed like both sisters had found happiness Chloe earned a scholarship to an Ivy League school and moved to New York City, where she landed a coveted publishing job Nicky married promising young attorney Adam Macintosh, and gave birth to a baby boy they named Ethan The Taylor sisters became virtual strangers.Now,than fifteen years later, their lives are drastically different and Chloe is married to Adam When he s murdered by an intruder at the couple s East Hampton beach house, Chloe reluctantly allows her teenaged stepson s biological mother her estranged sister, Nicky back into her life But when the police begin to treat Ethan as a suspect in his father s death, the two sisters are forced to uniteand to confront the truth behind family secrets they have tried to bury in the past THREE STARSThe Better Sister is, indeed, a relative to Burke s fabulous domestic thriller The Wife Unfortunately, she is not the better sister This very similar novel has almost all the same elements as THE WIFE, but is missing the twisted magic that made that story so much exciting.I love Alafair Burke s easy style of writing She effortlessly incorporates the pulse of our times so accurately, it is easy to get swept up in her contemporary mysteries and courtroom dramas I would call this a mild domestic drama with a murder mystery to solve It is fairly addictive due to Burke s talented writing skills but the story seems to stall out and not go anywhere You won t regret reading The Better Sister, but you probably won t remember much about it afterwards Thank you to Edelweiss and Harper Collins for my early galley THE BETTER SISTER hits U.S shelves on April 16, 2019 All opinions are my own. Elaborate, suspenseful, and twisty THE BETTER SISTER by ALAFAIR BURKE is an exciting, intriguing, engrossing, disturbing, and fantastic domestic mystery thriller that had me totally absorbed in this emotionally complex storyline I was fully immersed and totally interested in the mystery and the interaction between these two sisters, Chloe and Nicky as it was quite dynamic ALAFAIR BURKE is such a fabulous storyteller and has this way of hooking you in right away with her extremely fast paced narrative and her subtly sneaky delivery Which immediately had me questioning and wanting answers, even re reading certain parts because I was certain I had to have missed something and dang if I did She s sneaky lol ALAFAIR BURKE delivers a compelling and well written story here that is full of intrigue, suspense, courtroom drama, and familial dynamics The topical storyline is timely and well plotted, flowed seamlessly and had interesting and great characters.This was another one of those books for me where the fantastic storytelling guided and entertained me right to the very end The courtroom drama was extremely interesting and smartly written without overwhelming you with complicated details I could definitely tell that ALAFAIR BURKE knows her stuff.Norma s Stats Cover Absolutely love that dramatic, striking, breathtaking and extremely fitting cover Title Simple, impactful and a fabulous representation to storyline Writing Prose Well written, skilled, elaborate, suspenseful and engaging.Plot Engrossing, suspenseful, dramatic, realistic, interesting, fast paced, and entertaining.Ending The ending made me pause and reflect but in the end I was completely satisfied with the outcome Overall The storyline is full of twists and turns and so subtly interspersed that I didn t think this was predictable at all I wouldn t necessarily say it was all that surprising though when everything all played out but it was completely satisfying to me ALAFAIR BURKE does it again and has another winner here with THE BETTER SISTER Would highly recommend Thank you so much to Ashley at HarperCollins Canada for the complimentary copy It was an absolute pleasure reading this fabulous book Review can also be found on our book blog What a terrific domestic suspense courtroom drama novel Chloe works in publishing as the editor of a feminist women s magazine and is a vocal and very public advocate for women, while her husband Adam is a successful Manhattan attorney Together they raise their son Ethan The complication Adam is her sister Nicky s ex husband and Ethan is really her nephew These are little known public details until Adam turns up brutally murdered in their beach house The police turn their attention to Ethan as the suspect and the two estranged sisters, who haven t spoken in 15 years, must team together to save him.Nothing is as it appears and red herrings will have you spinning off in multiple direction with theories of what really happened If you re like me, you will be wrong.There is the mystery of who killed Adam, but I also loved the exploration of social media, the MeToo movement, family dysfunction, and the sibling bond.This isn t a thrill a minute read with twists on every page coming at you fast and furious but I am over that style of thriller so I liked the focus on the characters Families are often messy We never really knows what goes on behind closed doors I found it entertaining, and a fun diversion I received a copy of this book from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review Very intriguing beginning, but it somehow lost me a bit along the way Chloe and Nicky are not what you could call close sisters, but it d be pretty amazing if they d managed Not only did Chloe end up marrying Nicky s ex husband Adam, but she takes care of her son who calls her mom She d always been the responsible sister, always had her life together Nicky only managed a short time when her child was very young before she went back to being reckless, and lost him in the process Years later, the child is now getting closer to a grown man and Adam is dead, murdered by an intruder And they suspect his son Ethan is your typical teenager, a bit rebellious and secretive But would he kill his own father Nicky rushes to be with her family, uniting with her estranged sister to support the child they ve both had a hand in raising Neither of them believe Ethan could possibly have hurt Adam, but things aren t looking good This is a decent domestic thriller probably best suited for people who haven t read too many but have an interest Having read them quite often, some parts were a bit too messy for me It didn t quite lead up to the synopsis Harper Collins sent me a copy of this book to read and review Thank you This in no way affects my opinion. 2 starsChloe Taylor is now married to Adam, raising her sister Nicky s son, Ethan It s a sordid little tale you see, as her sister Nicky was Adam s first wife Yeah, you heard that right Adam got primary custody after Nicky was declared unfit Ethan is now a teenager and has always called Chloe, mom Chloe is editor of a woman s magazine and is known for the Themtoo Feminist Movement and is both loved and hated Except for being trolled on the internet, her life is pretty perfect her husband Adam is a successful lawyer, Ethan loves and adores her and she has the life she always wanted Then her husband s body is found brutally murdered and all bets are off The police have a primary suspect of course and it s none other than Ethan Could he possibly be guilty Are there other factors at play Could Chloe s success or her and Nicky s childhood have anything to do with Adam s murder Do you have the patience to find out You re going to need it if The Better Sister is on your tbr The Better Sister is a very slow moving mystery in comparison to Alafair Burke s The Wife and The Ex, both of which I really liked In addition, I found it to be very confusing, especially compared to the synopsis of this novel which doesn t quite match up to the plot I waited a good 35% for the characters of Hannah and Graham to show up before realizing the synopsis was just plain wrong I hate when that happens If you don t mind slow moving, predictable suspense novels, you might enjoy this slow burn of a novel, unfortunately, it just wasn t for me.This was a buddy read with Kaceey Thanks for keeping me company Thank you to Edelweiss, Harper Collins and Alafair Burke for an arc of this novel in exchange for an honest review.Published on Edelweiss and Goodreads on 1.26.19.