Book Nook: The Wife, by Alafair Burke

Feb 26, 2018

Alafair Burke returned to the program to talk about her new mystery novel "The Wife." I hereby declare that Alafair has written the most prescient novel of 2018. Here's a portion of my review that ran in the Cox Ohio newspapers:

Sometimes a writer gets lucky. Alafair Burke began writing her latest mystery novel "The Wife" a year ago when a few high profile celebrities like Biil Cosby were defending themselves against allegations of being sexual harassers or even sexual predators but the current #MeToo wave of accusations was still in the future as she began composing her story.

As the novel opens her central character is married to a celebrity professor who is about to become engulfed in a scandal involving accusations that he is a sexual harasser. "The Wife" was released as our real world wave of similar allegations is cresting. Ruined careers and reputations are accumulating as this storm of revelations is showing no signs of diminishing any time soon. What timing! Sometimes a writer gets lucky.

As "The Wife" Angela has been married to Jason for six years. She has a teen-aged son from a prior relationship. When Angela met Jason she never expected him to propose marriage to her and when he did she was thrilled because it was an opportunity for her to change her life and have a father for her son.

Jason has published a best-selling book. His growing status as a celebrity is causing his career to skyrocket. He has started a consulting business that is on the verge of becoming very lucrative. He makes frequent appearances as a guest on TV shows. Jason is planning to formally adopt Angela's son.

How could their lives get any better? That's when a young woman who works as an intern for Jason accuses him of making sexual advances toward her. When Angela is confronted by the media and by the police about the accusation against her husband she stands by her man. She believes that his accuser is lying.

As Jason's career goes into free fall Angela still has his back. Then another woman comes forward with an allegation against Jason that is even worse than the claims being made by the intern. Angela is feeling worried and conflicted. You see Angela has a dark secret of her own and the media storm surrounding Jason is threatening to expose something about her past.

Alafair Burke executes a plot twist at the end of "The Wife" that left this reviewer gasping in awe.

The Book Nook on WYSO is presented by the Greene County Public Library with additional support from Washington-Centerville Public Library,  Clark County Public LibraryDayton Metro Library, and Wright Memorial Public Library.