BOOK REVIEW: The Ex – by Alafair Burke

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Title: The Ex
Author: Alafair Burke
Genre: Mystery, Thriller, Suspense
First published: January 26th 2016
Publisher: Harper
Finished reading: June 20th 2016
Pages: 304
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“When he was gone, I blocked his number and then deleted it from my phone. When I say good-bye, I mean it.”

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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.

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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?

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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.

WWW Wednesdays #96 – June 22nd

wwwwednesdaysWWW WEDNESDAYS is a weekly meme hosted by Sam @ Taking On A World Of Words and is all about answering the three questions below.

  • WHAT ARE YOU CURRENTLY READING?

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I know, I know, I have been (shamelessly) posponing A Court Of Mist And Fury by Sarah J. Maas for the last couple of weeks. It’s not that I don’t want to read it, but I haven’t been in the mood for fantasy and the book is quite big in the first place… I did read a few pages yesterday, but I will probably not finish it before the end of the month unless I’m in the mood for fantasy again. Meanwhile I started reading Sweetheart by Chelsea Cain, which is the second book in a thriller/serial killer series and hopefully just as good as the first book.

  • WHAT DID YOU RECENTLY FINISH READING?

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* I finally managed to finish The Munich Girl by Phyllis Edgerly Ring, a historical fiction read I ended up really enjoying. The story has a fast pace and switches between contemporary scenes and the notes of the main character’s mother. I particularly enjoyed reading the historical section and the fact that the story is about the role of women during WWII (something you don’t see often). The only thing I wasn’t convinced about were the contemporary romance scenes, but the rest of the story makes up for it.
* I picked up The Ex by Alafair Burke afterwards, which had been recommended to me by various bloggers. It turned out to be a really fast-paced and entertaining thriller, although some of the scenes/plot twists might be a bit too farfetched (think Gone Girl or The Girl On The Train vibe). The end came as a surprise though.
* After hearing repeatedly I just HAD to read this book, I decided to read Tell Me Three Things by Julie Buxbaum next. And I’m glad I did, because I really loved it! The only thing that was slightly annoying would be the love triangle (rectangle?!) and the idea itself might not be that original either, but I still loved this book anyway. Without doubt a great summer read!

  • WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU’LL READ NEXT?

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I still have an ARC pending: Cascadia by H.W. “Buzz” Bernard. It promises to be an adrenaline-filled suspense story about the after effects of extreme natural events (in this case a massive earthquake and tsunami), so I’m definitely looking forward to read it soon. I also want to read Out Of The Easy by Ruta Sepetys, since I really enjoyed her other novel Between Shades Of Gray. Same goes for Hitman Anders And The Meaning Of It All by Jonas Jonasson, although I’ve already learned it’s not as good as The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out Of The Window And Disappeared… My newest TBR jar pick is still The Hired Girl by Laura Amy Schlitz.

WWW Wednesdays #95 – June 15th

wwwwednesdaysWWW WEDNESDAYS is a weekly meme hosted by Sam @ Taking On A World Of Words and is all about answering the three questions below.

  • WHAT ARE YOU CURRENTLY READING?

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The only reason I haven’t finished The Munich Girl by Phyliss Edgerly Ring yet is that I don’t have a lot of time to read, because I’m really enjoying this historical fiction story so far. Hopefully I will be able to finish it before the weekend! And I haven’t actually read any new pages of A Court Of Mist And Fury by Sarah J. Maas since last week, so process is still minimum. It’s not that I don’t want to read it, but I wanted to finish other books first.

  • WHAT DID YOU RECENTLY FINISH READING?

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Three books sounds like a lot when I didn’t have a lot of time, but when I wrote last WWW I had the first title already almost finished… And the other two are a collection of short stories and a novella, so supposedly ‘quick’ to read.
* I really enjoyed the Sherlock Holmes retelling A Study In Charlotte by Brittany Cavallaro, and I will definitely be looking out for the sequel. Fast-paced, entertaining and it really shows the main characters were based on the original duo.
* The Opposite Of Loneliness by Marina Keegan wasn’t as good as I was hoping for, but I guess that was mostly because I didn’t realize there was going to be a fiction part. I didn’t really like the fiction stories in general, although there were a few exceptions. The non fiction essays are really good though.
* I don’t like to say this about any book or novella, but reading Heart Of Tin by Danielle Paige was simply a waste of time. I REALLY didn’t like this sappy romance story where all that happens is that the Tin Woodman pines over Dorothy and tries to win her over… But since I’ve been promised this is the worst novella and the others are better, I will still read the next two.

  • WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU’LL READ NEXT?

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I have a new ARC pending:Cascadia by H.W. “Buzz” Bernard. It promises to be an adrenaline-filled suspense story about the after effects of extreme natural events (in this case a massive earthquake and tsunami), and I’m definitely looking forward to read it soon. And I decided to keep both Tell Me Three Things by Julie Buxbaum and The Ex by Alafair Burke on my list since they sound like really entertaining and ‘easy’ reads (which is something I need right now since I don’t have a lot of spare time to read). My newest TBR jar pick is The Hired Girl by Laura Amy Schlitz.

WWW Wednesdays #94 – June 8th

wwwwednesdaysWWW WEDNESDAYS is a weekly meme hosted by Sam @ Taking On A World Of Words and is all about answering the three questions below.

  • WHAT ARE YOU CURRENTLY READING?

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Basically, I haven’t been having a lot of free time to read, so I’m still reading A Study In Charlotte by Brittany Cavallaro even though I really enjoy the story so far. I’m hoping to finish it today though! I also have The Opposite Of Loneliness by Marina Keegan and A Court Of Mist And Fury by Sarah J. Maas on my currently reading list, although the process with both books is so minimum that I can’t say anything constructive yet.

  • WHAT DID YOU RECENTLY FINISH READING?

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Wait, only one book finished since last week?! I don’t think this has happened in a long time… I definitely wasn’t lying when I said I didn’t have a lot of time to read. 😦 I finished More Happy Than Not by Adam Silvera though, which took me ages to read because I didn’t really enjoy the first part of the book. I actually thought about DNFing at one point, but I’m glad I continued reading because the last part of the book was really good.

  • WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU’LL READ NEXT?

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I still have the following ARC pending:The Munich Girl by Phyllis Edgerly Ring. I love historical fiction set during WWII, so I’m looking forward to start reading it as soon as I finish my current reads. And since I don’t have a lot of time to read I decided to put some ‘easy’ and entertaining looking reads next; I’ve heard great things about both Tell Me Three Things by Julie Buxbaum and The Ex by Alafair Burke, so I can’t wait to read them myself. My newest TBR jar pick is The Hired Girl by Laura Amy Schlitz, which works out perfectly because it’s a historical fiction read set in the 1910s, which is one of the periods I still needed for the When Are You Reading? challenge.

Friday Finds #80 – April 1st

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FRIDAY FINDS is originally featured at Books And A Beat and showcases the most interesting books I’ve encountered during the last week and have added to my neverending TBR list on Goodreads. Below a selection of my newest additions; click on the book descriptions to go to its Goodreads page! 😀

My finds:

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