BOOK REVIEW: The Ex – by Alafair Burke


Title: The Ex
Author: Alafair Burke
Genre: Mystery, Thriller, Suspense
First published: January 26th 2016
Publisher: Harper
Finished reading: June 20th 2016
Pages: 304
Rating 4qqq

“When he was gone, I blocked his number and then deleted it from my phone. When I say good-bye, I mean it.”


One of my goals this year is to read more mystery/thriller books, and since The Ex has been recommended to me by various bloggers it was an easy choice. Lately I have been looking for fast-paced and entertaining reads because I don’t have a lot of free time to read, and this thriller written by Alafair Burke is exactly that. While some of the scenes and plot twists might be a bit farfetched and have that ‘Gone Girl/The Girl On The Train spin-off‘ vibe, I still really enjoyed reading The Ex. The prose is easy to read and combined with a fast pace and the whole mystery around what really happened that morning at the waterfront it is without doubt a book that can be called a pageturner. The character development is interesting, although I’m still not sure I actually like the main characters. But I guess the whole ‘unlikeable’ character theme seems to be quite popular in recent thriller reads anyway. The complicated relationship between Jack Harris and his criminal defense lawyer Olivia Randall is a nice touch, although not that original. The mystery around Jack’s possible guilt is well played as well, although I do wish Olivia would have been less like the typical broken, but kick ass defense lawyer/detective. It does fit her character, but it’s quite cliche… The ending of The Ex was without doubt a surprise though, and all in all I would definitely recommend reading this one if you are looking for an entertaining mystery/thriller.


Olivia Randall is probably one of the best criminal defense lawyers in New York, even though she hasn’t been that lucky in her private life. When she hears that her former fiancé, Jack Harris, has been arrested for a triple homicide, she decides that helping Jack might make up for some of her mistakes in the past and take away some of the guilt. Jack claims he is being framed for murder and Olivia believes him, because the Jack she knows wouldn’t be capable of murder. But his story is quite unbelievable… After his wife Molly was murdered, Jack hasn’t been dating anyone, but one day he spots a woman during his morning run that reminds him of what could be. His best friend decides to try to find the woman in question by posting a message on her website and to everyone’s surprise the woman responds a few days later. The mystery woman invites Jack to meet her in person at the same place they first saw each other, but she never showed up… And then three people were shot not far from where the two were supposed to meet. Of course, Jack is now the main suspect. But who is manipulating who? Is Jack really innocent, and who would benefit from framing him in the first place?


If you are looking for a fast-paced and entertaining read, The Ex is definitely an excellent choice. The story is interesting and easy to read, even though I had some minor issues with the plot, originality and characters. There are a few pretty interesting plot twists involved and the ending will most likely surprise you, but the journey itself is definitely entertaining as well.

11 thoughts on “BOOK REVIEW: The Ex – by Alafair Burke

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    • That’s true! The fact that this one is a legal thriller definitely made me enjoy it better than the other two I mentioned; at least it’s refreshing after too many similar plot(twists).

      Liked by 1 person

  5. So happy you liked The Ex! The plot has its minor flaws as it can seem quite far-fetched at some point, but I loved the legal work. I read that months ago but I still haven’t made up my mind on whether I really liked the characters. There were times when I did not understand Olivia.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I agree: the fact that it’s a legal thriller definitely is a nice twist and actually made me enjoy The Ex better than the other two I mentioned. And I wasn’t really a fan of the characters either…

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Great review. I have seen this book being mentioned around though this is the first review I have read. I will look for it. It does sound interesting despite the minor flaws. Glad you are into mystery/thrillers for the same reason that I am. Easy,fast reads:-)

    Liked by 1 person

    • The Ex is definitely an interesting and entertaining read… If you are looking for something fast-paced, this one is definitely worth it! 😀


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