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The Ex

3.73  ·  Rating details ·  14,764 ratings  ·  1,822 reviews
Twenty years ago she ruined his life. Now she has the chance to save it.

Widower Jack Harris has resisted the dating scene ever since the shooting of his wife Molly by a fifteen-year-old boy three years ago. An early morning run along the Hudson River changes that when he spots a woman in last night’s party dress, barefoot, enjoying a champagne picnic alone, reading his fav
Hardcover, 304 pages
Published January 26th 2016 by Harper
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Sk888888 Harsh, indeed. I have read all of Alafair Burke's books - the standalones, the series, and her collaborations with Mary Higgins Clark - and found each…moreHarsh, indeed. I have read all of Alafair Burke's books - the standalones, the series, and her collaborations with Mary Higgins Clark - and found each one interesting and enjoyable. Enough so to continue to keep reading! (less)

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Alafair Burke
Sep 16, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)  ·  review of another edition
I'm biased about the insides but I give the cover art five stars.
Elyse Walters
Oct 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Overdrive Library ebook.

IT WAS PURE FUN FROM THE GET GO! I didn’t even realize how much I was in the mood for a book like this. The ‘writing’ gave me giggles at times...catchy sayings add lightness....while being suspenseful.
Author Alafair Burke is playful with her writing throughout. Being arrested for a triple
homicide, is no joke. Of course the accused - Jack Harris - looked fearful, tired, disheveled, and exhausted in the interrogation room with bad fluorescent lighting - “Don called it ge
Paula Kalin
Oct 14, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Paula by: Bookclub
Okay, I figured the murder mystery out right away. Everyone in my bookclub also did.

Ex-fiancé, Jack Harris, needs help from Olivia Randall to whom he was engaged to and hasn’t seen in 20 years. Olivia was called in by Jack’s daughter, Buckley, to help with the case. Olivia is considered the best criminal defense lawyer in NYC, of course. Aren’t they always?

Olivia projects too much guilt for her past involvement with Jack for me. Sorry for the last 20 years for what she did. Enough already, as my
Chelsea Humphrey
Sep 21, 2015 rated it really liked it
Still undecided on a rating. I was thoroughly sucked in, the pacing was good, but a bit forgettable in comparison to Burke's other work. Currently a 3.5 rounded to 4 because it's Alafair Burke and she's queen. Full review tomorrow.


Still feeling like a 3.5 star rating is accurate. This story has been done many times before but I still enjoyed reading it. I sure will be glad when 70% of all books stop trying to be "The Next Gone Girl or TGOTT". It seems all books with this blurb on it
Susanne Strong
Jun 25, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: audiobooks, favorites
4 Stars.

One morning Olivia gets a frantic phone call from a girl named Buckley, the daughter of Jack, an old flame who Olivia often thought of as the one, and whose heart she broke. Buckley isn’t calling to reminisce. Her dad was taken into police custody and they need Olivia’s help. Olivia is a criminal defense attorney and she is Jack’s only hope and the truth is, she owes him. Three people were shot at a football field where Jack just happened to be that morning, and one ends up losing his li
Maxine (Booklover Catlady)

This book to me was like expecting the next chapter to be painted with a stunning azure blue that really took my breath away instead to find I'd ended up with magnolia...again. A book with enormous potential but it just lacked the spark required to make it a page turner. And for heaven's sake stop comparing books to The Girl on the Train, it creates an expectation. One that this book did not live up to.

Twenty years ago she ruined his life. Now she has the chance to save it.

Widower Jack Har
Jan 26, 2016 rated it it was amazing
The EX by Alafair Burke is a 2016 Harper publication. I was provided a copy of this book by the publisher and Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.

The legal thriller has gone through many adjustments, especially over the last five or six years. Courtroom dramas appear to be dead in the water as fewer attorneys actually step foot into a courtroom anymore.

Now, so called legal thrillers have lawyers doing all the crime solving, making them more like amateur sleuths than attorneys. No one ev
The Ex is a standalone legal/mystery novel written by former prosecutor and current professor of criminal law and procedure: Alafair Burke. I didn't realize beforehand, but this novel apparently falls into that small genre I don't care for: legal thrillers/detective mysteries. I usually just save myself the time and annoyance by DNF'ing and moving on. But with The Ex, I continued because I actually enjoyed following the legal component (especially in light of the author's profession!!) and I fou ...more
Jan 23, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I have read many Alafair Burke books and found them to be complex, multi-layered stories with gripping and compelling narratives. This courtroom legal drama is no different and I loved it. Olivia is a flawed person but exceptional criminal defense lawyer. She feels a burden of guilt after breaking a relationship with Jack Harris and the suffering she caused twenty years ago.

Jack is now on a murder charge and his daughter pleads with Olivia to defend him. Despite others warning her against doing
Debbie Oliphant
Apr 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love discovering a new author and I am clearly late for the party. WOW, this book did not disappoint. This story was fast paced and I couldn't put it down. You are guessing until the very end, and the ending was a shocker. I am a new fan to this author and look forward to more.
Aug 30, 2017 rated it really liked it
The Ex is my first novel by Alafair Burke and I won't hesitate to pick up another.

Olivia has made quite a career as a criminal defense lawyer. I will say it right here that I love the character of Olivia and the character in Olivia. She is uncompromising. She receives a call from the daughter of an ex love interest(like 19 years in the past) saying she needs Olivia's help in helping her Dad. Jack believes he has been framed for murder and so does Olivia after hearing his version. Knowing his per
I thoroughly enjoyed the characters and their entanglements in each other’s past and the complications that have led to today.

Olivia Randall is a girl-about-town NY lawyer who is awakened from sleeping off a hangover when her phone rings just before noon. She takes the details from her office about some kid who keeps calling her, then prods her bed partner, reminding him his wife’s plane is due to land. She’s that kind of girl . . . a 43-year-old girl.

The desperate young girl calling her is
Oct 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
After reading The Wife earlier this year and impressed with Burke’s writing, I looked into her backlist and was rewarded with this legal thriller/mystery reminiscent of early Scott Turow. Interesting characters with rich back stories, compelling writing that delved into the nuances of the legal system without becoming didactic and a plot that had me guessing everyone’s motivations. Were my suspicions correct? Yes, but Burke gives you enough reasons to doubt everyone and that alone made it captiv ...more
Apr 20, 2016 rated it liked it
I'm not sure whether to call this a legal thriller or a mystery. It wasn't particularly thrilling or mysterious. I guessed the culprit fairly early on, which is not ideal, nor is it the norm for me. I'm usually wide eyed and shocked. There were parts toward the end that needed more clarity. I don't feel the story reached its full potential. I guess I will go with fluffy mystery. It was entertaining but also somewhat far-fetched and forgettable. 3 stars.
Dec 21, 2015 rated it it was amazing

Olivia Randall is a defense lawyer who is called to defend her ex fiancé Jack. Jack Harris is a widower accused of shooting three people in a football field in New York City. One of those three people is Malcolm Neeley, whose disturbed teenage son Todd was responsible for the murder of Jack's wife. Jack is aggravated and blames Malcolm Neeley for failing to supervise his son.

Molly Harris is a substitute teacher who was trying to defuse a dangerous situation by persuading Todd to defer from sta
Liz Barnsley
Jan 17, 2016 rated it really liked it
**3.5 stars**

Now I'm a sucker for a decent legal drama and to be honest there are not that many around at the moment that really hit the spot for me - but I should have known I could rely on Alafair Burke to give good courtroom and that is absolutely what happened here.

I was immediately on board with Olivia Randall, a strong and independant female lead, as she agrees to help an ex boyfriend navigate a triple murder charge - years ago Olivia disposed of her relationship with Jack Harris in a ver
5 stars.🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

A truly spectacular legal thriller and awesome read.
I really loved the style in which this psychological/lawyer/courtroom drama was written. It was an extremely thoughtful and well conceived mystery, a little bit edgy and very realistic.
There were so many layers to the characters and within the story itself. They are gradually unveiled for the reader in a way that is not only captivating but also reveals a lot about the human condition.
Reading this book was so reminiscent of anot
Feb 11, 2016 rated it it was ok
Shelves: detective-crime
365 reviews and an average 3.72 rating. I am shaking my head in bafflement and waited a day to write my review, contemplating whether it was worth it to disagree so heartily with so many friends and other astute readers. Then I thought, if I can stop just one soul from buying or spending time on reading this novel - time that could be spent reading something, anything better - it will be worth the flak I'll no doubt take for saying the following: this was one of the most dreadful thriller/myster ...more
Kris - My Novelesque Life
Apr 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
(Review Not on Blog)
Listened to on Audio

I really enjoyed this suspense novel! It reminds me of Harlan Coben's standalone books where the realism is the true suspense. Olivia is hired by her ex-fiance's teenage daughter when he is accused of murdering his wife's killer and two bystanders. She cannot believe the man she once loved could do anything like this. She sets out to prove his innocence, and figure out who would frame him. The twists in this book were great and nothing major
Erin Clemence
Apr 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
I had the lovely pleasure of meeting Alafair Burke this month, at a book signing about an hour away from my home. She was completely hilarious, and it inspired me to finally get to reading some of her books that have been sitting on my TBR list for a while. I started with “The Ex”.

When Jack Harris is arrested for murder, he immediately calls on defense attorney Olivia Randall. Jack swears his innocence and is the ideal portrait of a “good citizen”- a devoted single father, trying to put the pi
Jan 28, 2016 rated it really liked it
Olivia is a high profile criminal lawyer. Jack is her ex fiancée that many years ago she hurt badly after ending their relationship. Jack has also just been connected to three murders. Olivia is contacted by Jack's daughter telling her she needs to help them so finally Olivia reaches out to help by representing him.
We are slowly given details of the story and characters as the book moves forward and many questions are raised, the main one being, is Jack guilty or innocent? This was a great read,
Feb 23, 2016 rated it liked it


This was a very light, entertaining read … the perfect antidote to the emotional despair of A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara. I had just finished A Little Life and desperately needed the decompression of a light, easy read to pull out of my funk. I’ve read many of Burke’s other works and like her style. The Ex is based on the age old question … do we really truly know the people we hold close and dear?

Olivia Randall is one of the very best criminal defense attorneys in NYC. Widower Ja
Genre: Crime fiction
POV: First person, singular
Setting: New York

I really wanted to love this book! I loved how this story heavily focused on the overall mindset of a legal eagle and the team-based research efforts behind building a criminal defense case, but the delivery of this story was strangely unexciting. There were some interesting scenes here and there, but this story was mostly lackluster and I hated the main characters. (view spoiler)
Sep 04, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I am usually a reader of thrillers, though I don’t always pick up legal thrillers or procedurals. I don’t have anything against them, but I guess I enjoy getting perspectives of those not investigating the crime committed. The Ex is very much a legal thriller and could even be considered a procedural. It is told from the perspective of a criminal defense lawyer as she defends her ex-fiancé. It may sound like you’ve read something similar before, but you haven’t. With our protagonist having a pa ...more
Carol -  Reading Writing and Riesling
Loved it! Read in one sitting.

My View:
An engrossing legal procedural/mystery enmeshed in a very tragic personal story or two.

This is my first foray into the writing of Alafair Burke and I loved it! I should point out that I had no preconceptions about the author, her famous writerly family, her other works other than hearing on the grapevine somewhere that this is a good writer. I am pleased to have made your acquaintance Ms Burke and I look forward to continuing our relationship. This was a ve
Elyssa (Elyssa's Editions)
Apr 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
I suspected the big “aha” very early on, but I still enjoyed the ride.

We learn about Jack Harris early on who is a widower after his wife was killed three years ago. While out for his daily jog, he stumbles upon a beautiful woman who reminds him of his wife and she is even reading his favorite novel. Due to a “lost connection” site he is able to find her to meet up, but when he shows up for their date he learns this may be part of a big setup to have him be the fall man for a murder (of the only
Susan Johnson
Dec 20, 2015 rated it liked it
2.5 stars
This is an average mystery story. There is nothing special about it. It's one standout feature is there are no likable characters. The protagonist and the man on trial are both tiresome and unsympathetic. There is no one to root for and no one to care for. I am not sure why a book with no characters the reader can get involved with but the author has decided to do that with this book.

The plot is average. A former boyfriend is arrested for murder and Olivia Randall, a high powered atto

This title sat on my Kindle for almost two years. I remember buying it because I thought the cover was gorgeous. I didn't even read the blurb. I just assumed it will be a decent second chance romance or something along those lines and, if nothing else, I'll own a pretty looking book.

Boy, was I wrong! And am I ever pissed at myself for not reading this sooner!!

I devoured THE EX in pretty much one sitting. This almost NEVER happens. I am talking "couldn't wait to ditch the New Years Eve party I wa
Feb 10, 2016 rated it really liked it
The Ex is an engaging mystery wrapped up in a legal drama. It is a standalone novel by Alafair Burke. At its centre is the relationship between Olivia and Jack, who were once a couple. Olivia’s guilt about the way she ended their relationship ensures she takes on Jack’s case.

Olivia is a defense lawyer and is contacted by Jack’s daughter, Buckley. Jack has been arrested for multiple murder and it looks like the police have a pretty solid case. Jack is a writer and widower. He is accused of shooti
May 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I love Alafair Burke's style of writing. I actually read The Wife before I read The Ex. Ok, so I read them out of sequence, but they are both excellent books. Ms Burke always writes a surprise twist at the end of her books, which I really enjoy. Olivia Randall, the main character, is a fantastic criminal defense attorney. I hope we will be seeing a lot more of her. I highly recommend this book.
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Play Book Tag: The Ex/Alafair Burke - 3.5 stars 1 17 Feb 05, 2018 09:41PM  
Forsyth County Pu...: April 2017 - The Ex 2 20 Apr 28, 2017 08:47AM  
I have a question about the end 7 136 Dec 12, 2016 01:41PM  
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  • Wilde Lake
  • The Other Widow
  • Killer Ambition (Rachel Knight, #3)
  • In Doubt
  • King Maybe (Junior Bender, #5)
  • What Remains of Me
  • She's Not There
  • 14 Days to Die
  • Before He Finds Her
  • Hidden (A Black Hat Thriller, #1)
  • The Drowning Girls
  • Monday's Lie
  • The Vanishing Year
  • The Darkest Secret
  • Angels Burning
  • All Dressed in White (Under Suspicion, #3)
  • Far From True (Promise Falls,  #2)
Alafair Burke is the New York Times bestselling author of "two power house series" (Sun-Sentinel) that have earned her a reputation for creating strong, believable, and eminently likable female characters, such as NYPD Detective Ellie Hatcher and Portland Deputy District Attorney Samantha Kincaid. Alafair's novels grow out of her experience as a prosecutor in America's police precincts and crimina ...more
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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.” 2 likes
“I despise hearing about other people’s problems, because I don’t like most people, especially people who would be described as normal.” 1 likes
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