A sassy New York City attorney defends an old love who may—or may not—have killed the man responsible for his wife’s death.
Enter Olivia Randall, a mouthy liberal lawyer who doesn’t take “no” for an answer. When her former fiance’s teenage daughter, Buckley, begs Olivia to help get her dad out of the major-sized pickle in which he’s landed, Olivia finds herself returning to a time when she was young, in love, and, ultimately, a heartbreaker. At least that’s the way successful author Jack Harris remembers her. When Olivia and Jack broke up, he met and married Molly, who died in a mass shooting at Penn Station. Todd Neeley, the boy who killed her along with 12 other people, took his own life after the shooting. Now his father, Malcolm Neeley, has been killed along with two others, and police think Jack shot him out of vengeance. Jack admits he was near the area where his archnemesis was murdered but swears he was there to meet an intriguing woman he had noticed on an earlier trip and who’d come forward after a friend put out a call for her online. Olivia believes she can win this case, but soon police turn up evidence that makes Jack look bad: he’d filed suit against Neeley in connection to his wife’s death. Also, testing revealed gunshot residue on his shirt. As the investigation progresses, the prosecution’s case only grows more formidable, leading Olivia to question whether Jack could be the murderer after all. Burke has progressed a long way since her debut, which is fortunate for fans of crime thrillers. Her latest features smooth, engaging writing; a sharp, funny edge; and characters worth investing in. Burke has created some memorable female protagonists over the years, but Olivia might be the cream of the crop.
If readers are lucky enough, snarky Olivia will snag another convoluted case and make additional appearances up the road.