cover image The Better Sister

The Better Sister

Alafair Burke. Harper, $26.99 (320p) ISBN 978-0-06-285337-0

Fourteen years before the present day of this mesmerizing domestic thriller from bestseller Burke (The Wife), Chloe Taylor helped her brother-in-law, Adam Macintosh, defeat her rebellious older sister, Nicky, in their custody battle over the couple’s two-year-old son, Ethan. Four years later, Chloe married Adam and became Ethan’s stepmother. Now, Nicky lives alone in Ohio, selling jewelry on Etsy, while 41-year-old Chloe lives with 47-year-old Adam and 16-year-old Ethan in New York City, working as editor-in-chief of Eve magazine. When someone kills Adam in the family’s East Hampton vacation home, Chloe’s biggest fear is that the court will grant Nicky guardianship of Ethan. Then the police arrest Ethan for the murder, compelling the estranged siblings to work together to solve Adam’s murder and exonerate their son. As Chloe investigates Adam’s final months, she contemplates her career, performs a marital post-mortem, and reflects on the personal cost of professional success. Meanwhile, Nicky has her own agenda. Burke paints a poignant portrait of sisterhood and sacrifice with this twist-riddled, character-driven whodunit. Author tour. Agent: Philip Spitzer, Philip Spitzer Literary. (Apr.)