The Wife: Alafair Burke
What happens when our whole world is turned inside out and the truths we believed were false. The light in your life shines and the sun brings you joy and happiness each day but a dark storm cloud is going to form and the once blue sky filled with sunshine is going to fade to total black leaving you completely in the dark with no stars shining or even a moon to light up the sky. The Twilight Zone: Defined as a fifth dimension beyond that which is known to man and as huge or wide as space and as timeless as infinity. Imagine being in between the light and shadow, between what is science and superstition and it creates fear within each person. This area of what someone would learn or think is her imagination is an area she will learn is the TWILIGHT ZONE and life she thinks she has created for her and her son will fall deeply down within the depths of the darkest recesses of the Twilight Zone.
Angela Powell thinks that her life with Jason is perfect and that her son Spencer has a great stepdad or father. Jason is a professor and lecturer and is latest book is a best seller but an intern that has been hired in his company comes forward claiming he made inappropriate remarks and advances towards her. Angela’s past is not rosy white or clean as she used drugs as a teen, ran away and got pregnant and has a mother who wanted all kept quiet. Jason and Angela met and married all too fast as their whirlwind courtship as related by the author allows reader to understand. He is quite dynamic and handsome working as an NYU professor and his book Equalomics is a bestseller and deals with socially conscious investing. He always has a huge successful consulting firm and a highly rated and listened to podcast. But, Angela as she narrates the story refuses to believe at first that he would cheat on her and would approach an intern in this firm in the wrong way. Angela is in the catering business and was working for a client and Jason was a guest at this event. Helping her get her son into an expensive private school, enabling her in every way and being able to leave her mother’s house and life the perfect life, little did she suspect that Rachel Sutton would come out of the woodwork and make a complaint at the NYPD Special Victims Unit stating that her husband made inappropriate sexual remarks and suggestions at the office. Hearing Rachel give her statement to Detective Corinne Duncan you wonder if she is exaggerating and trying to draw attention to her even showing off her new engagement ring to Jason. Rachel seems unreliable in every way. But, things heat up for Angela when she goes on line to learn more about Rachel, a female lawyer is hired to defend Jason and for some reason you get the feeling that even though certain information cannot be shared with Angela that Olivia his lawyer does not want her in the mix or privy to some of the information. Colin Harris is the other lawyer but Olivia takes the lead but when another complaint by someone named Kerry comes to light his one seems more credible. Angela reads the papers, listens to the broadcasts on television and convinces herself that it’s all a lie until something happens to alter her thinking and perception of Jason. Spence seems centered and refuses to believe his father is guilty but when the media takes it on and the internet airs many stories you begin to wonder why Angela is not in the limelight, why she has not come out to defend Jason and just what she is really hiding that he wants no one to find out. Learning more about Angela you wonder if this notoriety is just what she wants she needs to feel important and get the limelight on her and not on Jason. The author has Angela relate her checkered past and you wonder just how close to what Rachel did models Angela’s past. Kerry Lynch is the second person to come forward claiming that after a business meeting Jason raped her in her hotel room and threatened to kill her if she pressed charges. Kerry is a consultant for Oasis a water company and Jason claims she is his mistress so how did she disappear? Detective Corrine Duncan does a methodical job of collecting evidence, DNA included from items Kerry hid in her room at her hotel and then handed to her in plastic hotel bag. But, ADA Brian King wants more and the investigation and charges are not forthcoming until he feels he can get a conviction. Corinne is astute and while learning about Jason she learns more about Angela and her past that she wants buried forever. Everyone is not what they appear to be and the author takes readers inside the minds her main characters and their demented and warped minds
Digging into her past Corinne learns about Angela’s abduction, the father of her child Charlie Franklin and the other girl with her that was killed. But, King finally orders the warrant for the DNA test of Jason Powell but the reader senses that there is much more to learn about Angela and her son.
Hidden truths about Angela come out as the Corinne is relentless and so is Olivia trying to put blame on her for Jason’s cheating not only with Rachel whose claim seems to pale in the light of what we learn about his affair with Kerry. Kerry claiming that she was afraid for her job and that she knew information about Oasis that led to corruption dealing with foreign countries. Hearing Jason’s accusatory remarks to Angela and Angela staying close to him and defending him you wonder just how naïve she really is or if she’s afraid her past will come out in the present and he will go free and be blamed for his cheating. Added in a high priced lawyer named Janice Martinez is taking on the lawsuits filed by Kerry and Rachel against Jason and Olivia wants the criminal charges put aside and the civil lawsuit handled first. Does she think it will disappear? Cutthroat lawyers, high prices for the defense, money dwindling and you wonder why Angela does not listen to Susanna or best friend and her mother telling her to bail before it’s too late. Or does she really believe him? The author weaves doubt and suspicion on both sides and the dramatic conclusion is shocking.
When Kerry goes missing there are different theories that are discussed and Jason is the prime suspect until one delivery guy points it in another direction. Kerry was having an affair with Tom Fisher her boss and the disappearance made him not Jason look good for it until she turns up dead.
Angela and Jason the author describes their real relationship and why they decided at least on paper to get a divorce, which would yield her some major money and allow her to live with her son
somewhere else. Protecting herself was her first concern and of course Spencer too.
Corrine Duncan is a smart detective and relentless in her pursuit of the truth even though ADA King seems adverse to some of her ideas and thoughts she reaches out to other precincts in Long Island in order to learn more about Kerry and what might have happened to her until the cases seem to converge on each other and she decides to keep it alive. The grand jury decides to indict Jason for murder because a simple piece of evidence, which I promised the author, I would not disclose incriminated him but is he guilty? Friendships are broken, loyalties are betrayed, leaks to the DA and Media help to foster the flames against Jason but the author creates doubt in our minds as we hear Corrine narrate her feelings and her strategies for finding out the deep dark truth behind who killed Kerry, the truth about the affairs as Lana Sullivan was paid for her services by Jason and a deep secret about their marriage plays a definite role in this case until something triggers Angela’s mind and things spiral in a different direction. Like the forks in a road each pathway leading to a different conclusion until author Alafair Burke creates a final conclusion that leads readers to believe it’s not over yet.
Emails are revealed that Olivia Randall created with a mock cross in order to prepare him for what was ahead. Talked about Lynch and that she initiated the encounter and that the first sexual assault was two weeks later at her house over a drink but was that a lie? The next email presents the irregularities at Oasis Inc. payments not aligned with work performed on site. Telling this to Lynch and making her aware hinted that the company was engaged in kickbacks and disclosed financial statements to cover up. Kerry was smart and convinced Jason that she was looking for proof internally but never saw any evidence. Kerry wanted Jason to leave Angela but because of Spencer he remained or was there another reason that we have yet to learn for his loyalty and wanting to remain with Angela? He denied grabbing Rachel Sutton and as the evidence is revealed you wonder if Jason was the real victim. More emails are revealed and more thoughts come to the reader’s mind as we learn more about Ginny, Angela’s mother who appears at odd times and has her own view of what should be done, advises Angela that she needs to rethink her arrangement with Jason and Colin Harris creates the solution. The ending is quite startling and the final reveal of who is guilty is graphically described and the author leads us down several paths. Like the forks in a road each person’s path leads in many different directions and many obstacles are in the way but only one will lead us if we follow it without veering our course to the killer. How well does anyone really know anyone in life? The answers won’t be revealed until you the reader starts from the first page and learns the truth after you read this outstanding psychological/mystery thriller equal to that of those written for the Twilight Zone as we all enter the zone and wonder what is real, what is our imagination and what is the truth behind the Wife. Between the light and the darkness is the shadow. Just where will Angela wind up?
Fran Lewis: Just reviews/MJ magazine
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