The Ex by Alafair Burke
Olivia Randall is formidable in the courtroom; her personal life has pretty much always been in a shambles as evidenced when her ex-fiancé’s daughter Buckley Harris reaches out to her to help her father Jack. Jack has been arrested for the murder of Malcolm Neeley along with two bystanders. Neeley’s son Todd was a disturbed teenager whose murderous rampage at Grand Central one morning killed Jack’s wife and Buckley’s mother. Jack and other survivors filed suit against Neeley, but lost just shortly before Neeley was killed. The fantastic story of how he was at the football field the morning of the murder but didn’t kill anyone is quickly debunked when no one can locate the woman who is said to have invited Jack to the field and gunshot residue is found on his shirt. Motivated initially by guilt, Olivia sets out to side with Jack, certain he didn’t kill anyone, but as she takes a closer look at the evidence she wonders if the man who was clinically depressed twenty years ago after their break-up has finally snapped. This complex, convoluted case is enough to make a terrific stand-alone thriller, but coupled with the damaged, tough as nails on the outside, loyal to a fault heroine Olivia Randall, it could, readers will hope, be only the first appearance of Olivia.