The Wife by Alafair Burke
In an instant, I became the woman they assumed I'd been all along: the wife who lied to protect her husband.
I almost didn't hear the knock on the front door. I had removed the brass knocker twelve days earlier, as if that would stop another reporter from showing up unannounced. Once I realized the source of the sound, I sat up straight in bed, hitting mute on the TV remote. Fighting the instinct to freeze, I forced myself to take a look. I parted the drawn bedroom curtains, squinting against the afternoon sun.
I listened to this book on audio, narrated by Xe Sands, and liked it quite a lot. I think the only other book I'd read by Alafair Burke was The Ex, which was pretty good. Olivia Randall, one of the main characters in that one, is also part of this story as a defense attorney. Angela Powell, the protagonist, is sort of hard to get to know. She has reasons for wanting her life to stay private and the fact that her well-known husband is accused of sexual misconduct, well, that quickly becomes problematic. The reader follows along and doesn't quite know what to think. Has Jason, the husband, actually done the things he's accused of? Is he lying to Angela? Will her past be discovered and revealed by the media or even her husband as part of his defense? Does Jason know everything about Angela's past? Who do we believe? And then, one of the women accusing Jason goes missing and the action ramps up even further. I liked the SVU police detective that was investigating the alleged crimes. I wasn't quite as sure about Angela and a couple of the other people in her life. I did not like Jason. I was wrong about many of my initial assumptions. The puzzle was good here and I had a great time guessing this way and that. In the end, I didn't quite have it all figured out, which made it fun. I hope we'll see the detective in another book, and I look forward to what Alafair Burke writes next.
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 both the man she married and the women she chose not to believe.