The Better Sister
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 resentments . . . but 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 restless . . . and more than 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, more 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 unite . . . and to confront the truth behind family secrets they have tried to bury in the past

The Better Sister Details

TitleThe Better Sister
Author
ReleaseApr 16th, 2019
PublisherHarper
ISBN-139780062853370
Rating
GenreMystery, Thriller, Fiction, Mystery Thriller, Suspense

The Better Sister Review

  • Meredith
    January 1, 1970
    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 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 more 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.
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  • Chelsea Humphrey
    January 1, 1970
    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.
  • j e w e l s
    January 1, 1970
    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 more 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 th 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 more 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.
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  • Norma * Traveling Sister
    January 1, 1970
    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 na 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:https://twosisterslostinacoulee.com/
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  • Susanne Strong
    January 1, 1970
    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 husba 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.
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  • Kelly (and the Book Boar)
    January 1, 1970
    Find all of my reviews at: http://52bookminimum.blogspot.com/As my youngest would say . . . . . That’s soooooooo applicable here because The Better Sister was a damn good domestic thriller (as can be seen by my rating). Not only did it hold my interest throughout, but it did so without me even realizing how much progress I was making until I sat down to finish it last night and only had about 20% remaining. Burke also proved she knows which lane to stay in. This was a domestic - NOT a police pro Find all of my reviews at: http://52bookminimum.blogspot.com/As my youngest would say . . . . . That’s soooooooo applicable here because The Better Sister was a damn good domestic thriller (as can be seen by my rating). Not only did it hold my interest throughout, but it did so without me even realizing how much progress I was making until I sat down to finish it last night and only had about 20% remaining. Burke also proved she knows which lane to stay in. This was a domestic - NOT a police procedural or a courtroom drama or a wife sticking her nose where it didn’t belong and doing what the pros couldn’t do – and it remained focused on the family throughout. Not to mention it didn’t attempt to throw everything at the wall to see what would stick or bounce around in different timelines or via different narrators. So why does it suck to suck???? Well, because the focus on the kid maybe being the answer behind the whodunit reminded me of Defending Jacob, and nothing can compete with that. Thus the 4 Stars, but hey 4 Stars ain’t nuttin’ to cry about.Really, aside from the focus being on the son as the suspect in the father’s murder there were a lot of differences. Mainly in the form of our solo narrator Chloe who had worked her way up the magazine publishing world and instantly brought visions of a certain someone to my head . . . . (Even though she wasn’t presented as such a ballbuster.) She obviously did have ambitions and a willingness to do whatever was necessary in order to get what she wanted, however, since she not only ended up at the top of the heap of the magazine industry but also ended up marrying her sister’s husband!And what about that husband? Well, he’s dead so he doesn’t really have much to say about things. You just have to figure out whodunit and why. Just watch out so you don’t get knocked out by all the skeletons that start falling out of the closets.If you like your beachy reads on the stabby side, this might be a winner because homeboy gets stabbed FIVE TIMES : ) If you want to know you live with a bunch of potential serial killers ask the question “what’s a buck knife?” while you’re reading and have multiple examples be brought to you . . . . . ARC provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you, NetGalley!
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  • Liz
    January 1, 1970
    3.5 stars, rounded upI’ve only read one other book by Alafair Burke, The Wife, which I thought was a strong and interesting domestic thriller. So, I was curious to see if I’d like her next book and was thrilled to get an ARC.I liked the premise. I can’t quite imagine marrying my ex-brother-in-law under any circumstances in which my sister was still alive. But Chloe did exactly that, marrying Nicky’s ex-husband. Nicky was the ne’er do well sister, more into drinking than raising her child. Chloe, 3.5 stars, rounded upI’ve only read one other book by Alafair Burke, The Wife, which I thought was a strong and interesting domestic thriller. So, I was curious to see if I’d like her next book and was thrilled to get an ARC.I liked the premise. I can’t quite imagine marrying my ex-brother-in-law under any circumstances in which my sister was still alive. But Chloe did exactly that, marrying Nicky’s ex-husband. Nicky was the ne’er do well sister, more into drinking than raising her child. Chloe, was the type A daughter, the editor in chief of one of the last few remaining feminist magazines and is wildly successful. As you would expect with a domestic thriller, everyone has lots of secrets. I can’t say Chloe was a sympathetic character in the beginning and it took me awhile to warm to her. When Chloe’s husband is brutally murdered, Nicky comes east to be with her son. She’s cleaned up her act in the intervening years. The sisters proceed to try and repair their relationship. I did enjoy Detective Guidry, forced to deal with her idiot partner. Unfortunately, she’s not a big part of the book. The book starts off strong but then the plot just seems to flounder. It attempts to cover all the bases - family drama, murder mystery, courtroom drama. But it falters and there were several gaping holes in the plot. Chloe makes a very half hearted attempt to research what her husband was up to in the days before his death. Ideas of other theories are raised and then forgotten. And are never investigated by the defense lawyer. Still, it’s got a strong ending that I didn’t see coming. I enjoyed this one more for the characters than the plot. My thanks to netgalley and Harper Collins for an advance copy of this book.
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  • Meredith B. (readingwithmere)
    January 1, 1970
    3.5 Stars rounded up! I had no idea four years later, I'd become the second Mrs. Adam Macintosh, or that ten years after that, I'd be the one to find his dead body. Chloe is the youngest Taylor sister and she has is together. You could say she is the better sister. She has a great job and gets to be a guest at fancy parties with her boss until one night her brother in law calls her to tell her he needs her help...and it's about her sister.Fast forward 14 years into the future Chloe is now marrie 3.5 Stars rounded up! I had no idea four years later, I'd become the second Mrs. Adam Macintosh, or that ten years after that, I'd be the one to find his dead body. Chloe is the youngest Taylor sister and she has is together. You could say she is the better sister. She has a great job and gets to be a guest at fancy parties with her boss until one night her brother in law calls her to tell her he needs her help...and it's about her sister.Fast forward 14 years into the future Chloe is now married to her brother in law Adam. She is taking care of her nephew who calls her mom and her big sister is out of the picture. One night when Adam is home by himself, he is murdered and Chloe comes back to find him in their house deceased. When the police start to get involved, Chloe brings Nicky (her estranged sister) back into the picture because Ethan, Nicky's biological son and Chloe's stepson is being questioned. These sisters are forced to open up about past secrets, relationship troubles and work together to try to win over the court system.This book is a domestic thriller but on the slower side. There are elements to this book that I really enjoyed. I think the dynamic between sisters was really interesting. They both grew up in the same house but they had totally different experiences with their parents and this was one of the reasons they became estranged. However, they are similar in the fact that they were both able to be manipulated by the same people both as children and adults. This helps them really come together towards the back half of this novel.I think an important reality that this book points out is that not every family is what they seem. Do they seem happy on the outside when they're in a social setting or out as a family? Sure. However we never know what is really going on behind closed doors. People tend to be good at putting up a front when around others and then becoming a completely different person at home. This book also explores how families tend to stay together when you feel you need to protect a child more than you need to help yourself. I don't personally have kids but I could empathize with the main characters when this situation arose.I previously read The Wife by Alafair Burke and it was easily one of my top 10 reads of last year. I think I went into this book with extremely high expectations and that was a mistake on my part. This book was good for what it's written as but I thin I was expecting something as devouring as The Wife was last year for me and this was not that However, I can tell you that I did read this in about a day and it was harder to put down. I wanted to know what happened to Adam. The reveal of the killer wasn't surprising. to me but it didn't feel like a let down. This story was more about coming together as a family rather than a whodunit.Thank you to Harper Books for my ARC of this book. This book publishes today, April 16th. Pick it up if this is a book that sounds like something you'd enjoy!
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  • Brenda - Traveling Sister
    January 1, 1970
    3.5 StarsTwo estranged sisters, a murdered husband and father, some courtroom drama and a whole lot of messy family drama. The Better Sister is a simple yet intriguing whodunit domestic thriller with some interesting simple courtroom drama and a lot of family drama that didn’t feel too overly complicated to me. Now I am not sure I would describe this one as fast-paced or really entertaining. I felt the strength in this one was in the drama. Now that is something I never thought I would say, not 3.5 StarsTwo estranged sisters, a murdered husband and father, some courtroom drama and a whole lot of messy family drama. The Better Sister is a simple yet intriguing whodunit domestic thriller with some interesting simple courtroom drama and a lot of family drama that didn’t feel too overly complicated to me. Now I am not sure I would describe this one as fast-paced or really entertaining. I felt the strength in this one was in the drama. Now that is something I never thought I would say, not being much of a fan of drama. There is a lot of messy family drama going on here with these very different sisters that unfolded slowly throughout the story instead of coming at you all at once. One sister who craves and needs routine and the other who lives in constant drama. I was hooked right from the start and I was turning the pages as fast as I could as the twists and turns came. I started to question who was the better sister as we learn more about some of their family secrets.The ending came as a surprise and I didn’t see it coming. Maybe a bit weak with the big reveal and one you might find unsatisfying with a few holes. For me, it all came together well and I thought the pacing was well done as the drama slowly unfoldedThank you to EW and Harper Collins Canada for my copy to read and review.
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  • Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader
    January 1, 1970
    Who is the “better” sister? ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ The premise of this- wow! A Manhattan lawyer is murdered, and two sisters, the lawyer’s widow and his ex, must come together again after years of estrangement. The sisters, Chloe and Nicky, could not have been more different growing up. Chloe, the younger sister, was in charge, a hard worker, and thoughtful. Nicky, the older sister, was a dreamer and floated through life. Each sister takes her own path. Chloe goes to college and lands a prestigious job. Nicky Who is the “better” sister? ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ The premise of this- wow! A Manhattan lawyer is murdered, and two sisters, the lawyer’s widow and his ex, must come together again after years of estrangement. The sisters, Chloe and Nicky, could not have been more different growing up. Chloe, the younger sister, was in charge, a hard worker, and thoughtful. Nicky, the older sister, was a dreamer and floated through life. Each sister takes her own path. Chloe goes to college and lands a prestigious job. Nicky marries a young attorney and has a child. The two sisters grow apart. Several years later, Chloe is now married to the attorney. Her stepson, Ethan, is also her nephew, and when her husband is murdered, she allows Nicky back into her life. The tides really turn when Ethan is named by the police as a suspect in the murder. Will these sisters join up together to find the truth?The Better Sister is written in Burke’s trademark easy reading, perfectly-paced style. I had my just-one-more-page thing going on and found it hard to put down. I think it’s important to know going in that this is more of a domestic suspense or mystery, so it’s not going to be full of big banging thrills. I found this an original take on a whodunnit and was captivated with the dynamic between these two very different sisters. Overall, The Better Sister is a murder mystery with a side of courtroom drama and lots and lots of family dynamics to unearth. I received a complimentary copy. All opinions are my own. My reviews can also be found on my blog: www.jennifertarheelreader.com
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  • Jennifer
    January 1, 1970
    Courtroom drama meets domestic suspense in this story about murder and family. Two estranged sisters, a dead husband connected to them both, a teenage boy charged with murder. Alafair Burke shows off her legal skills and talent for developing a family, secrets and all. Everything rises to the surface and the outcome will have you questioning which of these sisters is actually the better one. Although slow moving overall, the twists and turns provided the perfect acceleration as needed and I coul Courtroom drama meets domestic suspense in this story about murder and family. Two estranged sisters, a dead husband connected to them both, a teenage boy charged with murder. Alafair Burke shows off her legal skills and talent for developing a family, secrets and all. Everything rises to the surface and the outcome will have you questioning which of these sisters is actually the better one. Although slow moving overall, the twists and turns provided the perfect acceleration as needed and I couldn't put it down. Check it out.My favorite quote:"You never know what's going on in a family behind closed doors."Audiobook narrated by Sophie Amoss, Samantha Desz, and Mike Chamberlain.
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  • Debbie Oliphant
    January 1, 1970
    I remember reading The Ex and felt mentally drained from the twists and turns. It was quite a ride and after that, I became a fan of this authors. The summary draws you in and you feel ready to dive in, however, this story took awhile to "get there". While I appreciated the topics when you finally did "get there", I'm not sure I was vested with the protagonist of the story. The upside was that if you are a fan of this authors, the twists and turns did not disappoint.Chloe lives an ideal, picture I remember reading The Ex and felt mentally drained from the twists and turns. It was quite a ride and after that, I became a fan of this authors. The summary draws you in and you feel ready to dive in, however, this story took awhile to "get there". While I appreciated the topics when you finally did "get there", I'm not sure I was vested with the protagonist of the story. The upside was that if you are a fan of this authors, the twists and turns did not disappoint.Chloe lives an ideal, picture perfect life. She has a beautiful family and a successful career. Her career as an Editor propels her to a celebrity status as she is an advocate for women's voices who have been abused. Chloe loves her stepson whose mom is her sister that she has been estranged from since he was a baby. The three are reunited when they learn Chloe's husband, Adam, has been killed in their home. Chloe has an airtight alibi, but her son, Ethan, does not. Chloe's sister, Nicky, is staying with her to protect her son and try to strengthen the bond they used to have. Chloe does not want her there, but she knows the attention on her son is serious and she needs all the reinforcements she can get to get through an event that will change all of them.The three are put to the test as their secrets are exposed and Chloe's perfect life is crumbling. Time is running out and the two sisters must find a way to save Ethan and their strategy to find another suspect is a hunch that leads to a big reveal. I liked the story because it had a similar intensity of her other books, but I did not feel connected with the main character and I should have given the storyline. The supporting characters add a strong layer that does keep you engaged, especially, Nicky. You're curious of her relationship with Adam and why it failed and why she struggled and why she was estranged from her own son. Was she the Better Sister?
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  • Jamie
    January 1, 1970
    Alafair Burke has done it again - and dare I say - this may just be her best yet! Chloe Taylor, an editor-in-Chief of a women’s magazine spearheading the #MeToo movement - returns home to lavish Hamptons weekend home to find her husband stabbed to death. But, Chloe and Adam didn’t exactly have a boy-meets-girl traditional start, Adam is divorced from Chloe’s own sister, Nicky. Delving into family relationships and unraveling exactly how someone marries their sister’s ex while wondering “whodunni Alafair Burke has done it again - and dare I say - this may just be her best yet! Chloe Taylor, an editor-in-Chief of a women’s magazine spearheading the #MeToo movement - returns home to lavish Hamptons weekend home to find her husband stabbed to death. But, Chloe and Adam didn’t exactly have a boy-meets-girl traditional start, Adam is divorced from Chloe’s own sister, Nicky. Delving into family relationships and unraveling exactly how someone marries their sister’s ex while wondering “whodunnit” in a murder case really showcases Burke’s skills as a master of intrigue and suspense. I found myself theorizing constantly and devouring this book at rapid pace, I just had to know what happened! Thank you to HarperCollins for an advanced copy. All opinions are my own.
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  • ABookwormWithWine
    January 1, 1970
    ⭐⭐⭐⭐💫 / 5 (4.5 / 5) I was a HUGE fan of The Wife by Alafair Burke so I kinda had high expectations going into The Better Sister. Let me tell you, Burke did not disappoint me!! What it's about: Nicky and Chloe are sisters... not that you can tell. Nicky has always had issues holding a job and holding a man, plus ongoing problems with substance abuse. Chloe is the polar opposite; hard working, overachieving, plus Chloe managed to become famous during the #MeToo movement working in publishing. Oh, ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️💫 / 5 (4.5 / 5) I was a HUGE fan of The Wife by Alafair Burke so I kinda had high expectations going into The Better Sister. Let me tell you, Burke did not disappoint me!! What it's about: Nicky and Chloe are sisters... not that you can tell. Nicky has always had issues holding a job and holding a man, plus ongoing problems with substance abuse. Chloe is the polar opposite; hard working, overachieving, plus Chloe managed to become famous during the #MeToo movement working in publishing. Oh, and did I mention she is also married to Adam, Nicky's ex-husband, and raising their son Ethan as her own? Needless to say, they have basically become estranged, only talking every so often about Ethan. But when Adam is murdered in their East Hampton beach home, the sisters must come together again and face not only their family secrets, but the reality of who murdered Adam. I LOVE ALAFAIR BURKE! There, I said it. I will read anything this woman writes, and somehow I just know I am going to love it even though this is only my second time reading anything by her. I love that she included a character I saw in The Wife, which was the criminal defense attorney Olivia Randall. I know she is in The Ex as well, and it always makes me happy when I see an ongoing character in different books. I also liked that The Better Sister had somewhat of the same structure that The Wife had. There is a domestic drama, a court case, and social issues all rolled into one captivating novel. I think Burke's inclusion of the #MeToo movement in regards to Chloe and her job was a great way of talking about it more, and I liked how she tied it into the book.. Plus in managing to point out how prominent nasty comments on social media are when you are dealing with rape and abuse. This being said, the book is a little crude at times because of these comments Chloe reads, so be aware of that.I also really enjoyed seeing Nicky and Chloe come together again, and the subplot of the two sisters and their relationship. While a lot of it was hard, especially in regards to how they grew up, there still ends up being such a loving relationship there and I really connected to them. Final Thought: I am actually very surprised at all of the negative and low reviews for The Better Sister. I know not every book is for everyone, but I had a hard time coming up with anything I really didn't like about it. I think Burke's writing is 100% solid as usual, and although I wasn't TOO surprised at who actually killed Adam, the book still left me guessing and I finished it in one sitting, in just a manner of hours. I highly recommend to lovers of novels that include both courtroom dramas and domestic drama all rolled into one, and anyone that read and loved her last book The Wife.Thank you to the publisher for providing me with an advance review copy of this book!
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  • Shannon
    January 1, 1970
    Thanks to Harper Books #partner for gifting me a copy of The Better Sister by Alafair Burke! After reading The Wife last year and LOVING IT, I knew I had to read The Better Sister ASAP! I loved it!Chloe is married to Adam, who was previously married to Chloe’s sister, Nicky. Wait what?! Yep!! Adam got custody of his and Nicky’s son, Ethan. What a family! Nicky has been estranged from the family for some time.Chloe works at an elite magazine company and is behind the #themtoo movement. She has a Thanks to Harper Books #partner for gifting me a copy of The Better Sister by Alafair Burke! After reading The Wife last year and LOVING IT, I knew I had to read The Better Sister ASAP! I loved it!Chloe is married to Adam, who was previously married to Chloe’s sister, Nicky. Wait what?! Yep!! Adam got custody of his and Nicky’s son, Ethan. What a family! Nicky has been estranged from the family for some time.Chloe works at an elite magazine company and is behind the #themtoo movement. She has a great career and is well known. One night after a night, Chloe returns to their second home to find Adam murdered! Who could have killed him?! According to the cops all the evidence is pointed at their son!I ate this up! Drama, lies, secrets, murder, court drama. YES pls. 5 stars from me!
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  • Dennis
    January 1, 1970
    So, please don't make fun of me, but I've never read anything by the famous Alafair Burke. I know, I know—I'm one of the only people in the world that didn't check out her 2018 blockbuster The Wife. However, this year I was given the opportunity to read Burke's upcoming The Better Sister and I am officially now a fan. Burke's upcoming domestic thriller takes place in Manhattan, focusing on Chloe Taylor and her family. The story starts with showcasing Chloe's drive to succeed in the media world So, please don't make fun of me, but I've never read anything by the famous Alafair Burke. I know, I know—I'm one of the only people in the world that didn't check out her 2018 blockbuster The Wife. However, this year I was given the opportunity to read Burke's upcoming The Better Sister and I am officially now a fan. Burke's upcoming domestic thriller takes place in Manhattan, focusing on Chloe Taylor and her family. The story starts with showcasing Chloe's drive to succeed in the media world; working at one of the most elite magazine companies in the world. As she becomes a leader and visionary in her own rite—Chloe's personal life leaves much for the imagination. Chloe develops a relationship with her sister's ex-husband, and the two decide to marry. Chloe's sister is estranged from the family, and Chloe becomes the wife and mother that her sister Nicky wasn't. Years later, Chloe is successful and famous in the world of fashion and media. She is a mogul and an activist for the modern day feminist. After a night out with friends, Chloe returns home to find out that her husband has been murdered. As the police begin investigating this high-profile homicide, Chloe and her sister Nicky must reunite. They need to reconcile (at least for the time being), as this fiasco starts to unravel. The two need to stand strong together in hopes of getting through this tragedy. After years of pretending that the other didn't exist, the two must now retrace their history in hopes of moving forward with their "new normal". The Better Sister is awesome, plain and simple. Alafair Burke's writing is some of the best fiction I've ever experienced in my blogging life. Domestic thrillers, although popular, can be very easy to pick apart since the genre's gotten so over-saturated, but Burke doesn't play by the rules—she formulates her own strategy in crafting this memorizing mystery. You'll be second guessing your theories from beginning and end, and you'll be staying up into the wee hours at night to just get to the next chapter. I see big things for The Better Sister this year, and I'm definitely going to be along for the ride.
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  • Tucker
    January 1, 1970
    Ugh. Just.... UghRTCMany thanks to HarperCollins for sending me a copy in exchange for an honest review| Goodreads | Blog | Twitch | Pinterest |
  • Darinda
    January 1, 1970
    Chloe and Nicky are sisters. Though Chloe is the younger sister, she has always been the more responsible one. As adults, it seemed Nicky's restless behavior improved when she married Adam and had a baby. Then things took a dramatic turn. Now, fifteen years later, Chloe is married to Adam, she is stepmother to her nephew Ethan, and estranged from her sister. When Adam is found murdered in their beach house, Ethan becomes the prime suspect. These events bring Nicky back into Chloe's life. When fi Chloe and Nicky are sisters. Though Chloe is the younger sister, she has always been the more responsible one. As adults, it seemed Nicky's restless behavior improved when she married Adam and had a baby. Then things took a dramatic turn. Now, fifteen years later, Chloe is married to Adam, she is stepmother to her nephew Ethan, and estranged from her sister. When Adam is found murdered in their beach house, Ethan becomes the prime suspect. These events bring Nicky back into Chloe's life. When finally reconnected, the sisters are forced to confront their past.This mystery starts off strong with Adam's murder, but the pace does slow down. When the police start looking at Ethan as a prime suspect, the sisters are brought together to support him and help prove his innocence. Both sisters have secrets they have been keeping, and as things unfold, the sisters relationship changes.An easy reading novel. Murder mystery, courtroom drama, and family secrets.I received a free eARC of this book from the publisher via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Stephanie
    January 1, 1970
    3.5 StarsI've read several of Alafair Burke's books—all of her books with Mary Higgins Clark, which is how I was introduced to her as an author, a few books in her Ellie Hatcher series, and a couple of her standalone novels including, of course, The Ex and The Wife. I was thrilled to read The Better Sister but unfortunately, I felt it was missing all the ingredients that made The Wife and The Ex both 5 star reads.In this domestic thriller, albeit a very light domestic thriller, Chloe Taylor is t 3.5 StarsI've read several of Alafair Burke's books—all of her books with Mary Higgins Clark, which is how I was introduced to her as an author, a few books in her Ellie Hatcher series, and a couple of her standalone novels including, of course, The Ex and The Wife. I was thrilled to read The Better Sister but unfortunately, I felt it was missing all the ingredients that made The Wife and The Ex both 5 star reads.In this domestic thriller, albeit a very light domestic thriller, Chloe Taylor is the narrator and the supposedly better sister in comparison to her unreliable older sister Nicky. Chloe's ultra-successful, wealthy, a feminist starter of the #MeToo movement—oh, did I mention she's married to her sister's ex-husband Adam and has raised her nephew, Ethan as her own? As you can imagine, the Taylor sisters are far from close. Suddenly, these two sisters have no choice but join together in an uneasy partnership when Adam is murdered and Ethan becomes the only suspect.Unfortunately, while this has an outstanding plot and the makings of an excellent book, it fell short as I said. Don't get me wrong, it's an addictive, page-turning read that I binged in two sittings and still enjoyed thoroughly even if I didn't love it! I thought from the beginning to the middle of the book it was going to be on par with The Wife and then it began to be predictable and fell flat. I read a LOT of thrillers and domestic dramas so it could be me since I'm able to predict who committed the crimes in these genres of books 98% of the time. So, the reveal was not at all revealing (it was believable though) since it was literally given away early on, and that could be why the book fell flat. One reason I'm glad I read this is that I love Burke's writing style; she writes flawlessly and really excels at brilliantly incorporating her legal expertize into the police investigations and courtroom setting. Another great thing about the book is that it wasn't gimmicky at all: nothing was thrown in to test the reader's patience such as crazy twists that just could never have happened, impossible to believe characters, etc—you know what I mean! It's just an honest, well-written, conceivable murder mystery in a world of the same old, same old genre of domestic thrillers.While I didn't love The Better Sister, I did enjoy it, and I do recommend picking it up to see what you think! It's a quick read that's perfect for spring/summer reading.**Thank you Edelweiss and Harper Collins for the ARC to read in exchange for my fair and honest review.**
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  • Renee (itsbooktalk.com)
    January 1, 1970
    I'm between a 3-3.5I had high expectations for this after loving The Wife so much but as you can see based on my rating, it didn't quite live up to them for me. Burke's writing continued to be stellar though, she's really on another writing level, especially when it comes to courtroom scenes, characterization, and dialogue. The pace and flow of the book was fast and on point...I flew through this is 2 days! Where I struggled was the with the last third and the resolution. Full review coming soon
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  • Kara Leann
    January 1, 1970
    Happy pub day to this wild ride! I flew through this story in one day because I absolutely couldn’t put it down! Alafair Burke did such an incredible job of throwing in twists I never saw coming! She is seriously so talented and an amazing storyteller! Thank you to Harper for the free advanced copy in exchange for my honest review.
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  • Sara
    January 1, 1970
    So Alafair Burke has started doing something in her novels that is making me mildly insane. Lets say you're reading a book about the kidnapping of a little kid. Its a first person narrative where you spend time with the mother of the kidnapped child, you learn more about her and her life, her marriage, what her family is like. She thinks a lot of thoughts about her kid, their life together, maybe you find out about her job and her friends. You're really in her head, hearing all of her thoughts, So Alafair Burke has started doing something in her novels that is making me mildly insane. Lets say you're reading a book about the kidnapping of a little kid. Its a first person narrative where you spend time with the mother of the kidnapped child, you learn more about her and her life, her marriage, what her family is like. She thinks a lot of thoughts about her kid, their life together, maybe you find out about her job and her friends. You're really in her head, hearing all of her thoughts, her fears, her emotions. So you're about halfway through the book and all of a sudden the private detective she hired who's looking for the kid says "so how long have you been dealing cocaine?"At no point in the narrative thus far were you given any reason to believe that this woman is running a very profitable drug cartel. She's never said or thought "gee I should really have a drug cartel meeting to see how all my dealers are doing with all that cocaine I deal." She hasn't so much as bought a pack of razor blades or even sniffed one too many times! Yet here we are and our narrator just kind of shrugs and thinks "ah yes, my cocaine dealing, how long have I been doing that?"While no one in The Better Sister is standing in line to become the next Tony Montana there are plenty of these very strange revelations that feel less like clever plot twists and more like ways to get characters out of taking any responsibility whatsoever for their actions and doing the other thing I seem to find happening in everything I'm reading lately, treating the narrator like absolute crap.As the story begins we meet Chloe, an astoundingly successful magazine editor who's about to be honored for her years of work highlighting women's issues and her contributions to the #metoo movement. She's also a loving wife to Adam, an attorney, and devoted mother to Ethan, a teenage boy who's just discovered girls and spends to much time on his phone. The one fly in the ointment is that Ethan isn't Chloe's son. He's the son of Adam's first marriage to Chloe's unstable and unreliable older sister Nicky. This isn't a secret, heck its on the book jacket, but it certainly sets up some interesting possibilities and leaves the reader with plenty of questions. What exactly did Nicky do to leave Adam with sole custody of their son and why has she never reached out to him? How did the sisters' parents feel about one marrying the others ex-husband? What was their relationship like before the novel begins?I wish I could say this novel even attempts to answer those questions but it doesn't. Instead it becomes a very straight forward courtroom drama when this disfunctional family is shattered by a murder of which one of them now stands accused coupled with the two sisters attempting to reconcile. Ms. Burke, an attorney herself, certainly shines in the courtroom scenes but she loses the plot entirely when it comes to presenting characters with real, genuine emotional reactions to the things they're being put through, not to mention a not so hot grasp of addiction, domestic abuse, and the mindset of the average American teenager.I don't want to spoil the plot but there's some very basic things that go down here that just don't work for me. The most major of which is the main theme of the book. When someone does something that is arguably bad or even worse illegal that doesn't then justify them being murdered and it doesn't absolve the murderer of the blame. I mean c'mon.Burke explored this idea in her last book The Wife, a story with so many side plots and twists I literally found myself struggling to remember what in the hell even happened in it when I was discussing it with another librarian recently. While she stays more grounded here with a more or less constant, single story line, she's still bending backward to absolve the guilty parties of any wrong doing because the victim deserved to die. Then there are things like addiction and abandonment that are glossed over and blamed on the people left behind who didn't see how badly the addict was hurting or realize things they had no way of seeing were going on. One excrutiating scene involves (view spoiler)[Nicky blaming Chloe for loving their father and not somehow magically seeing that he was abusive to their mother, something she doesn't even recall witnessing when she was all of eight years old. (hide spoiler)]This book is like a very strange genre bender where we are meant to get on board with the idea of these sister's rediscovering their love for each other in the midst of all the usual plot developments of a court room thriller/murder mystery. In one chapter they're enjoying a cocktail party with Chloe's friends and snarking on each other and then its off to court where a beloved family member is on trial for their life. It just never makes any sense or feels remotely plausible.I was left feeling like I was dealing with a family of sociopaths, which given how the story resolves itself, doesn't seem like that far fetched of a take home.This get's a raised "are you serious?" eyebrow and my (soon to be copywrited) disapproving librarian is tired of your shenanagins harumph.Boooooo
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  • Tucker
    January 1, 1970
    Alafair Burke’s previous career as a prosecuting attorney provides a rich and informed view of what happens prior to and during a criminal trial, including all the machinations and maneuvers. That legal background assures that her books can be relied upon for realistic courtroom drama, but where she really excels is in her deep and believable development of characters. In “The Better Sister” Burke explores the relationship of two sisters, one who eventually ends up becoming the step mother to th Alafair Burke’s previous career as a prosecuting attorney provides a rich and informed view of what happens prior to and during a criminal trial, including all the machinations and maneuvers. That legal background assures that her books can be relied upon for realistic courtroom drama, but where she really excels is in her deep and believable development of characters. In “The Better Sister” Burke explores the relationship of two sisters, one who eventually ends up becoming the step mother to the other sister’s son. While it’s clear at the beginning of the story which woman is the “better sister”, gradual and well-placed revelations find the reader questioning who really is “better.” A taut legal thriller about the murder of the ex-husband of one sister and the current husband of the other, this exploration of family relationships makes for a compelling read.
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  • Chandra Claypool (wherethereadergrows)
    January 1, 1970
    Part domestic thriller and part legal thriller, when you marry your sister's ex husband and raise her son as your own surely nothing can go wrong... right? Chloe may be the younger sister but she was the one who became successful in her career while Nicky found the perfect man to marry and have a child with. Soon Nicky's ways catch up with her and Chloe comes to assist Adam, Nicky's husband, to get Nicky the help she needs and to get Ethan (their child) out of danger. Turns out the past tends to Part domestic thriller and part legal thriller, when you marry your sister's ex husband and raise her son as your own surely nothing can go wrong... right? Chloe may be the younger sister but she was the one who became successful in her career while Nicky found the perfect man to marry and have a child with. Soon Nicky's ways catch up with her and Chloe comes to assist Adam, Nicky's husband, to get Nicky the help she needs and to get Ethan (their child) out of danger. Turns out the past tends to repeat itself and while Chloe goes on to marry Adam and raise Ethan, like with most things, what you see isn't always what you get.It seems that domestic thrillers seem to have the same types of issues and formats. If you've read enough of them, you need something to really wow you or something that's a bit different from the norm. The Better Sister, while written well and is a page turner, hits all the usual themes. There's nothing wrong with this whatsoever, I just need something more. I appreciate the linear time format and the singular point of view. However, no reveal made me go WHAT?! I was just more in an ahhhhhh... yep, there it is! Listen, as far a domestic thriller goes, this is definitely in the higher percentage of well written ones. I absolutely flew through the book and enjoyed the partial court room drama that was thrown in for good measure. I'll certainly take The Wife off my shelves and up it on my TBR backlog list. As my first by Burke, I think it did well in satiating my thirst for the rich families that seem perfect on paper.Thank you Harper Books for this copy.3.5 rounding to 4
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  • Amy
    January 1, 1970
    4.5/5Did you catch in the blurb that two sisters end up marrying the same man?! Talk about an attention grabber, that line alone made me want to read this one and when it’s also an AB book I’m alllll in. You know there has to be some juicy and complex backstory about how one woman becomes an aunt and a stepmother to the same child, something like that just doesn’t happen, right?! That’s just one of several burning questions I had almost immediately after cracking this book open and there was def 4.5/5Did you catch in the blurb that two sisters end up marrying the same man?! Talk about an attention grabber, that line alone made me want to read this one and when it’s also an AB book I’m alllll in. You know there has to be some juicy and complex backstory about how one woman becomes an aunt and a stepmother to the same child, something like that just doesn’t happen, right?! That’s just one of several burning questions I had almost immediately after cracking this book open and there was definitely a ton to unpack here.Let me set you straight real quick and tell you that if you’re looking for a fast paced thriller you need to adjust your expectations a little. This is definitely more of domestic suspense, there isn’t a ton of action but it’s compelling all the same. There is a lot going on here, you have courtroom drama that moves along briskly with some chapters having a pretty large time jump between them, you have this dysfunctional family trying to pick up the pieces after a tragedy and then Chloe’s job is also interesting and very timely as a sort of spin off of the #MeToo movement. So as much as this isn’t a typical thriller it’s never boring at all, just know that it has the feel of a classic whodunnit with a contemporary edge.Fans of the author will love this one, it felt very similar to The Wife in many ways but was also original enough not to feel stale. What makes her books standout to me is the superb writing, she really knows how to create an addictive page turner that hooks you.The Better Sister in three words: Engrossing, Fluid and Scandalous
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  • DeAnn
    January 1, 1970
    3.75 deep family secret starsAs the title implies, this domestic drama features two sisters. Chloe is the uber-successful publisher in New York with an attorney husband and teenage step-son Ethan. The other sister, Nicky, still lives in their home town of Cleveland and has some serious issues. Oh, and the step-son? That’s Nicky’s son and Chloe is married to her ex-husband. Jut got a little more interesting, huh? The sisters have been estranged for years.Throw a murder into the plot and this one 3.75 deep family secret starsAs the title implies, this domestic drama features two sisters. Chloe is the uber-successful publisher in New York with an attorney husband and teenage step-son Ethan. The other sister, Nicky, still lives in their home town of Cleveland and has some serious issues. Oh, and the step-son? That’s Nicky’s son and Chloe is married to her ex-husband. Jut got a little more interesting, huh? The sisters have been estranged for years.Throw a murder into the plot and this one starts to have a lot of twists! The second half of the book has a lot of courtroom drama that slowly builds and there’s one huge surprise at the end that I did NOT see coming. I must say I like that! Although there’s a big question lurking – would you let someone get away with murder?This was a quick and engaging read. There were a few plot points that don’t hold up if you really think them through, but I just went along for the escapism on this one! I’m not sure who is the better sister, I’d love to ask the author that question!!Thank you to Alafair Burke, Edelweiss, and Harper Collins for an early copy of this to read and review.
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  • Susan
    January 1, 1970
    Loved this book! So glad I decided to give her another chance after the horrendous ending of her last book. This was a fast paced murder mystery and I loved the twists and turns. Very enjoyable read that you don’t want to put down. I was provided a copy of this book by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Cyndi
    January 1, 1970
    Chloe and her estranged sister Nicky come together in support of Ethan, Nicky’s son and Chloe’s stepson, when he is accused of murdering his father in Alafair Burke’s latest suspense. I’ve enjoyed all of Burke’s books and this was no exception. Unlike her others, though, this was more of a slow burn in the middle which dragged a little at times. The pace picked up towards the end and there were a couple of big twists, one of which I predicted and one I didn’t. Overall, a fun, entertaining read f Chloe and her estranged sister Nicky come together in support of Ethan, Nicky’s son and Chloe’s stepson, when he is accused of murdering his father in Alafair Burke’s latest suspense. I’ve enjoyed all of Burke’s books and this was no exception. Unlike her others, though, this was more of a slow burn in the middle which dragged a little at times. The pace picked up towards the end and there were a couple of big twists, one of which I predicted and one I didn’t. Overall, a fun, entertaining read from a solid suspense writer.Many thanks to Edelweiss, Harper and Alafair Burke for my complimentary e-copy ARC in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.
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  • Emily
    January 1, 1970
    The Better Sister is my second read from Alafair Burke, and I really enjoyed it! She's such a good writer, and I get very wrapped up in her stories. The Better Sister is was a captivating read that would probably be perfect for a relaxing beach trip; I highly recommend it if you're craving some dramatic domestic suspense. I had fun with this one!
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  • KC
    January 1, 1970
    After the birth to their son Ethan, Nicky and Adam Macintosh's marriage begins to dissolve. After a frightening event, the courts ultimately award Adam sole custody. Chloe, Nicky's sister, eventually marries Adam and becomes Ethan's mother. Years later, the family is living a privileged life, with an apartment in NYC and a house in the Hamptons, but after Adam is murdered, all fingers point to their now teenage son. Can the sisters put their differences aside for Ethan's sake? This fast paced do After the birth to their son Ethan, Nicky and Adam Macintosh's marriage begins to dissolve. After a frightening event, the courts ultimately award Adam sole custody. Chloe, Nicky's sister, eventually marries Adam and becomes Ethan's mother. Years later, the family is living a privileged life, with an apartment in NYC and a house in the Hamptons, but after Adam is murdered, all fingers point to their now teenage son. Can the sisters put their differences aside for Ethan's sake? This fast paced domestic thriller are for those readers who enjoy B.A. Paris and Fiona Barton.
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