Standalone Sunday is a fun feature created by Megan at Bookslayerreads where each Sunday you feature a standalone book (not part of a series) that you loved or would recommend. There’s so much focus on books that are part of a series… she thought it’d be nice to focus on some standalone novels, too!

Feel free to join in on this weekly feature by creating your own Standalone Sunday post! And be sure to check out Megan’s very creative blog and leave a link in her Standalone Sunday comments section so she can add your blog to the list

My Standalone Pick this week is:



Published January 2016 by Harper

My Rating 3.5/5 Stars

In this breakout standalone novel of suspense in the vein of Gone Girl and The Girl on a Train, a woman agrees to help an old boyfriend who has been framed for murder—but begins to suspect that she is the one being manipulated.

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 favorite novel. Everything about her reminds him of what he used to have with Molly. Eager to help Jack find love again, his best friend posts a message on a popular website after he mentions the encounter. Days later, that same beautiful stranger responds and invites Jack to meet her in person at the waterfront. That’s when Jack’s world falls apart.

Olivia Randall is one of New York City’s best criminal defense lawyers. When she hears that her former fiancé, Jack Harris, has been arrested for a triple homicide—and that one of the victims was connected to his wife’s murder—there is no doubt in her mind as to his innocence. The only question is who would go to such great lengths to frame him —and why?

For Olivia, representing Jack is a way to make up for past regrets, to absolve herself of guilt from a tragic decision, a secret she has held for twenty years. But as the evidence against him mounts, she is forced to confront her doubts. The man she knew could not have done this. But what if she never really knew him? 


I almost didn’t read this book because of the worn out marketing ploy comparing it to Gone Girl and Girl on the Train, only one of which (Gone Girl) I really liked. For more on the topic of books being overly hyped check out Jen’s post yesterday at jenmedsbookreviews.comI tend to be disappointed in every book that’s compared to either of those. However, I really like Alafair Burke so my enjoyment of her other books (All Day and A Night for one) won out for this read.

Overall, I really liked this book. The premise is great, as well as the setting and the narrative structure. It all worked. You might be wondering why I didn’t give this book 4 or 5 stars then? Well, it was a solid 4 star book until the resolution and I realized I had it  figured out….correctly. That almost never happens and I may be being too harsh in my rating, but if I have theories woven together in my head as to the who, how, why of the mystery and I end up being correct, I have to admit I’m a little disappointed. You see, I don’t really want to be correct, at least not fully; I want the author to pull the rug out from under me and/or throw in a twist that leads somewhere I wasn’t expecting. Too high of expectations? Possibly. But most of the time in the mysteries and thrillers I read this is exactly what happens. All in all, I know I really don’t have that good of detective skills, I think I just got lucky on this one.  Hopefully you’ll decide to give this a try, it’s a great book to put your own detective skills to work.  And you really can’t go wrong when Alafair Burke’s the author. Happy Reading!

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  1. I’ve been wanting to read her for a while now; even had All Day and A Night on my TBR but removed it so I could start the Ellie Hatcher series from Book One.

    I’m with you regarding theories; I want the author to give me enough to have them AND I don’t want to be right 🙂 I don’t think you’re giving your sleuthing skills enough credit.

    By the way, I’m still singing Feelings by Morris Albert after your tearjerker post – and that’s without having read any of them 😥

    Thanks and Have An Amazing and Lucky Sunday Renee!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m glad it’s just not me wanting to be wrong about ‘whodunit’ I also have 2 more Ellie Hatcher books on my kindle but I can’t remember which ones though. I think that’s a good series to start from the beginning. Which tearjerker can I talk you into reading…The Art of Racing in the Rain maybe? This week I’ll have even more so maybe one from that post:) Have a great Sunday!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I’ll let you know after Tearjerkers Part Deux, but right now One Day is edging out TAORITR. Twenty years, two people, one day… must have been one heck of a good day 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Haha! I almost mentioned that marketing ploy as well 😉 But it appears to have passed your test. I am shaking my head though.. like no way girlfriend.. do not go getting involved in your ex’s mess. That has so much trouble written all over it. Come on! I would probably spend a bit yelling while I read this hah 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I’ve been sick with the flu, so I wasn’t able to post a Standalone Sunday this past week 😦 But I like the sounds of your pick! I love mysteries and thrillers, so thank you for the rec!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Thanks. Yeah, I’m trying. It’s pretty bad and seems like it’s taking forever to start getting better. Hopefully it’ll be gone completely by this weekend.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. I think publishers often set their books up for failure when they market it to be like a well loved book. People will always compare it and expect the same feeling they get when they read the book it was compared to, but ultimately it usually comes up short. I really wish we would stop with the comparison game and let the books speak for themselves.

    Liked by 1 person

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