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The Better Sister

3.76  ·  Rating details ·  13,314 ratings  ·  1,423 reviews
From Alafair Burke—New York Times bestselling author of the runaway hit, The Wife—comes another twisty tale of domestic noir. When a prominent Manhattan lawyer is murdered, two estranged sisters—one the dead man’s widow, the other his ex—must set aside mistrust and old resentments . . . but can they escape their past?

Though Chloe was the younger of the two Taylor sisters,
Hardcover, 311 pages
Published April 16th 2019 by Harper
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Bridget Neace I noticed two instances where it said "KEVIN" when it was supposed to say "ETHAN," along with what Nancy noticed about the Camden/Casden thing...…moreI noticed two instances where it said "KEVIN" when it was supposed to say "ETHAN," along with what Nancy noticed about the Camden/Casden thing...(less)
Meliney I wouldn't call it literary at all. Great to read on vacation or cozy weekend reading.…moreI wouldn't call it literary at all. Great to read on vacation or cozy weekend reading.(less)

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Average rating 3.76  · 
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 ·  13,314 ratings  ·  1,423 reviews

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Jun 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
How do you tell people you married your sister’s husband without sounding horrible?

I'm sure there are inquiring minds—other than my own—who would like to know, is that even possible? Well, don't you worry. Alafair Burke tests the theory here with sisters, Chloe and Nicky. While the women don't overtly vie for the title of "the better sister", it's a given they'll have readers second-guessing which of the two deserves the label.

Considering this was my first exposure to Burke's work, I had no
Meredith ( on Semi-Hiatus until February)
2.5 stars

Starts off strong, but turns into a mess!

The Better Sister is a domestic thriller about a woman (good sister) who marries her bad seed sister’s former husband and raises her sister’s son as her own. Sounds juicy, right? It gets even better because 10 years later, good sister’s husband is murdered and her (step)son is a prime suspect. Now, she must do whatever it takes to prove her son’s innocence, even if it means reuniting with her crazy sister.

The Better Sister has so much potential
Chelsea Humphrey
Mar 20, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: from-publisher
A solid, entertaining read, but I think I'm growing weary of the domestic thriller, as they are all seeming to read about the same way. Full review to come!

*I received a review copy via the publisher.
Joey R.
Jun 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
4.0 Stars—“The Better Sister” is the third Alafair Burke book I have read in less than a year, so I guess I would say I am officially a fan. “The Better Sister” is written from the first person perspective of Chloe, a famous feminist and publisher, whose husband, Adam, is brutally murdered inside of their home. This situation is complicated by the fact that Chloe is a stepmother to Ethan, Adam’s son, whose mother is Nickie, Chloe’s sister. This leads to complications and many interesting reveals ...more
Jun 11, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: hardback, library
Chloe and her husband Adam seem to have a happy marriage. Chloe is a famous and successful journalist and Adam is a successful lawyer. Ethan is Adam's sixteen year old son by Nicky, and Ethan considers Chloe "Mom" and Chloe loves Ethan as if he were her own. Chloe created the "Them, too" movement and is lauded for promoting women's rights and strengths to stand up for themselves.

Behind the scenes, we find that Ethan's mom, Nicky, is Adam's ex-wife and their marriage ended very badly with Chloe
j e w e l s
Mar 26, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: books-bejeweled

The Better Sister
is, indeed, a relative to Burke’s fabulous domestic thriller The Wife. Unfortunately, she is not the better sister. This very similar novel has almost all the same elements as THE WIFE, but is missing the twisted magic that made that story so much more exciting.

I love Alafair Burke’s easy style of writing. She effortlessly incorporates the pulse of our times so accurately, it is easy to get swept up in her contemporary mysteries and courtroom dramas.

I would call th
Apr 15, 2019 rated it really liked it
Elaborate, suspenseful, and twisty!

THE BETTER SISTER by ALAFAIR BURKE is an exciting, intriguing, engrossing, disturbing, and fantastic domestic mystery/thriller that had me totally absorbed in this emotionally complex storyline. I was fully immersed and totally interested in the mystery and the interaction between these two sisters, Chloe and Nicky as it was quite dynamic.

ALAFAIR BURKE is such a fabulous storyteller and has this way of hooking you in right away with her extremely fast-paced na
Aug 08, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2019-reads, edelweiss

What a terrific domestic suspense/courtroom drama novel! Chloe works in publishing as the editor of a feminist women’s magazine and is a vocal and very public advocate for women, while her husband Adam is a successful Manhattan attorney. Together they raise their son Ethan. The complication? Adam is her sister Nicky’s ex-husband and Ethan is really her nephew. These are little known public details until Adam turns up brutally murdered in their beach house.

The police turn their attention to Etha
Sarah Joint
May 09, 2019 rated it liked it
Very intriguing beginning, but it somehow lost me a bit along the way.

Chloe and Nicky are not what you could call close sisters, but it'd be pretty amazing if they'd managed. Not only did Chloe end up marrying Nicky's ex-husband Adam, but she takes care of her son... who calls her mom. She'd always been the more responsible sister, always had her life more together. Nicky only managed a short time when her child was very young before she went back to being reckless, and lost him in the process.
Susanne  Strong
Jan 24, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: buddy-read, edelweiss
2 stars

Chloe Taylor is now married to Adam, raising her sister Nicky’s son, Ethan. It’s a sordid little tale you see, as her sister Nicky was Adam’s first wife. Yeah, you heard that right. Adam got primary custody after Nicky was declared unfit. Ethan is now a teenager and has always called Chloe, mom. Chloe is editor of a woman’s magazine and is known for the “#Themtoo” Feminist Movement and is both loved and hated. Except for being trolled on the internet, her life is pretty perfect: her husba
Aug 14, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: public-library
Tepid as old bathwater.  This was my first outing with Alafair Burke and it would be fair to say we did not engage.  It's possible that having read so many books of this ilk that I have become difficult to please.  The writing here is fine, there just wasn't anything to get my heart pounding. ...more
Brenda ~Traveling Sisters Book Reviews
3.5 Stars

Two estranged sisters, a murdered husband and father, some courtroom drama and a whole lot of messy family drama.

The Better Sister is a simple yet intriguing whodunit domestic thriller with some interesting simple courtroom drama and a lot of family drama that didn’t feel too overly complicated to me.

Now I am not sure I would describe this one as fast-paced or really entertaining. I felt the strength in this one was in the drama. Now that is something I never thought I would say, not
Meredith B.  (readingwithmere)
Apr 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
3.5 Stars rounded up!

I had no idea four years later, I'd become the second Mrs. Adam Macintosh, or that ten years after that, I'd be the one to find his dead body.

Chloe is the youngest Taylor sister and she has is together. You could say she is the better sister. She has a great job and gets to be a guest at fancy parties with her boss until one night her brother in law calls her to tell her he needs her help...and it's about her sister.

Fast forward 14 years into the future Chloe is now marr
Kelly (and the Book Boar)
Find all of my reviews at:

As my youngest would say . . . . .

That’s soooooooo applicable here because The Better Sister was a damn good domestic thriller (as can be seen by my rating). Not only did it hold my interest throughout, but it did so without me even realizing how much progress I was making until I sat down to finish it last night and only had about 20% remaining. Burke also proved she knows which lane to stay in. This was a domestic - NOT a police
Apr 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
3.5 stars, rounded up

I’ve only read one other book by Alafair Burke, The Wife, which I thought was a strong and interesting domestic thriller. So, I was curious to see if I’d like her next book and was thrilled to get an ARC.

I liked the premise. I can’t quite imagine marrying my ex-brother-in-law under any circumstances in which my sister was still alive. But Chloe did exactly that, marrying Nicky’s ex-husband. Nicky was the ne’er do well sister, more into drinking than raising her child. Chloe,
Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader
Apr 14, 2019 rated it really liked it
Who is the “better” sister? ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️

The premise of this- wow! A Manhattan lawyer is murdered, and two sisters, the lawyer’s widow and his ex, must come together again after years of estrangement.

The sisters, Chloe and Nicky, could not have been more different growing up. Chloe, the younger sister, was in charge, a hard worker, and thoughtful. Nicky, the older sister, was a dreamer and floated through life.

Each sister takes her own path. Chloe goes to college and lands a prestigious job. Ni

A thriller better be tricky. I need to gasp as I grasp. I need ah-ha’s and sit-up-straights and maybe a head shake saying wow wow wow. I got none of that. All I wanted was to finish my baked potato so I could ask permission to leave the table. And head for the hilarious book that my daughter gave me on Christmas Day, the book where I’m standing at attention, until I slither down and shimmy up, smile smile smile. I immediately buried my head in the funny book (called Furiously Happy: A Fu
Courtroom drama meets domestic suspense in this story about murder and family. Two estranged sisters, a dead husband connected to them both, a teenage boy charged with murder. Alafair Burke shows off her legal skills and talent for developing a family, secrets and all. Everything rises to the surface and the outcome will have you questioning which of these sisters is actually the better one. Although slow moving overall, the twists and turns provided the perfect acceleration as needed and I coul ...more
Mar 18, 2019 rated it it was ok
So Alafair Burke has started doing something in her novels that is making me mildly insane.

Lets say you're reading a book about the kidnapping of a little kid. Its a first person narrative where you spend time with the mother of the kidnapped child, you learn more about her and her life, her marriage, what her family is like. She thinks a lot of thoughts about her kid, their life together, maybe you find out about her job and her friends. You're really in her head, hearing all of her thoughts,
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️💫 / 5 (4.5 / 5)

I was a HUGE fan of The Wife by Alafair Burke so I kinda had high expectations going into The Better Sister. Let me tell you, Burke did not disappoint me!!

What it's about: Nicky and Chloe are sisters... not that you can tell. Nicky has always had issues holding a job and holding a man, plus ongoing problems with substance abuse. Chloe is the polar opposite; hard working, overachieving, plus Chloe managed to become famous during the #MeToo movement working in publishing.
Katie B
Well, I'm not going to lie, I was disappointed in this one because I have enjoyed some of the author's other books. The main problem I had while reading is I didn't understand most of the characters and by the time some context was provided it was like it was too little, too late. The plot itself wasn't horrible but the characters needed to be fully fleshed out.

On a positive note, I liked how Olivia Randall from The Ex was a character in this one.

Full review coming soon.
Debbie Oliphant
Apr 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
I remember reading The Ex and felt mentally drained from the twists and turns. It was quite a ride and after that, I became a fan of this authors. The summary draws you in and you feel ready to dive in, however, this story took awhile to "get there". While I appreciated the topics when you finally did "get there", I'm not sure I was vested with the protagonist of the story. The upside was that if you are a fan of this authors, the twists and turns did not disappoint.

Chloe lives an ideal, picture
Julie (JuJu)
Jun 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
My thoughts:
When you have a high profile job, it’s hard to keep the secrets of your personal life hidden. When your husband is murdered and your son is the main suspect, it’s impossible.

Little by little, Chloe’s juicy and sordid secrets are being revealed and—as much as she’s tried—she can’t stop them.

She married her sister’s ex-husband, Adam, when her nephew, Ethan, was very young...and became his step-mother. Her sister, Nicky, was deemed a reckless mess at the time, so Chloe helped Adam get
Jan 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: library-4
A twisted family situation meets murder. Great drama! I’ve known of siblings who marry the former spouse of a sister/brother, but it’s usually after their sibling has passed away. Marrying your sister’s ex-husband and having custody of her child (who calls you Mommy) while your sister is still alive… well, let’s just say this made for juicy conflict! I ate this story up!

Excellent pacing with short chapters and methodical reveals of information. Chloe (wife number 2) and Nicky (wife number 1) are
Jamie Rosenblit
Jan 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: arcs
Alafair Burke has done it again - and dare I say - this may just be her best yet!

Chloe Taylor, an editor-in-Chief of a women’s magazine spearheading the #MeToo movement - returns home to lavish Hamptons weekend home to find her husband stabbed to death. But, Chloe and Adam didn’t exactly have a boy-meets-girl traditional start, Adam is divorced from Chloe’s own sister, Nicky. Delving into family relationships and unraveling exactly how someone marries their sister’s ex while wondering “whodunni
Mar 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Thanks to Harper Books #partner for gifting me a copy of The Better Sister by Alafair Burke! After reading The Wife last year and LOVING IT, I knew I had to read The Better Sister ASAP! I loved it!

Chloe is married to Adam, who was previously married to Chloe’s sister, Nicky. Wait what?! Yep!! Adam got custody of his and Nicky’s son, Ethan. What a family! Nicky has been estranged from the family for some time.

Chloe works at an elite magazine company and is behind the #themtoo movement. She has a
Jun 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Burke is a master of pacing and suspense. This one is so clever, glitzy, and current — and, oh, what an ending!
So, please don't make fun of me, but I've never read anything by the famous Alafair Burke. I know, I know—I'm one of the only people in the world that didn't check out her 2018 blockbuster The Wife. However, this year I was given the opportunity to read Burke's upcoming The Better Sister and I am officially now a fan.

Burke's upcoming domestic thriller takes place in Manhattan, focusing on Chloe Taylor and her family. The story starts with showcasing Chloe's drive to succeed in the media wor
May 11, 2019 rated it it was ok
This is an okay story with a fairly meager end. 3 of 10 stars
Jul 24, 2019 rated it really liked it
Very entertaining! Nothing about this book is unique or challenging but I kept wanting to find out the “who done it”. It did have a few unexpected twists and turns. This is the type of book I recommend if you’re stuck in a book rut. Happy reading!!
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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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