So they say truth is stranger than fiction. If you were Jack Harris’ friend in this novel, you may even think he was ‘off his rocker’. Can you imagine trying to convince the police that you were coincidentally in the same area as the father of the youth that took your wife’s life three years before in a mass shooting; that you had nothing to do with the shooting death of said ‘father’, that you were innocently bringing a picnic basket to meet a beautiful woman you didn’t know but had seen her one morning drinking champagne on the lawn, still dressed in her evening attire, reading a book. So, Jack is being held, questioned, and finally arrested. Buckley, his sixteen-year-old daughter, calls Olivia Randall, New York City DA and Jack’s ex, to find out what is going to happen to her father. Against the better judgement of the managing partner in her law firm, Olivia decides to defend Jack. Then, the police confirm that while Jack’s hands didn’t show gun residue, his shirt did.
As Jack’s ex, Olivia feels she knows him well enough to know he couldn’t kill anyone. But, as evidence begins to build, she inwardly begins second guessing her judgement of him. Author Alafair Burke skillfully keeps the tension tight in this engaging suspenseful drama. As a prosecutor, she has experience in the legal system; that experience plays out well in her novel. Jack’s character is intricate, and the reader keeps pondering his guilt or innocence. I’d actually love to see more of Olivia as a brash New York DA if this were to be expanded into a series. Rating: 4 out of 5.