Between the Lines

A blog featuring author interviews, news on new books and author-related events around town, by CapRadio's "Authors On Stage" host, Allen Pierleoni.

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Alafair Burke Is Next Up For Authors On Stage, With ‘The Wife’

Photo: Deborah Copaken Kogan

Photo: Deborah Copaken Kogan

We’re laying tracks for our next Authors On Stage event (Jan. 29), with New York Times best-selling novelist Alafair Burke discussing her latest book, The Wife. Burke has published 12 novels in three mystery-suspense series, as well as five stand-alone books. She’s a former prosecutor and now a law school professor. 

But let’s back up: Sci-fi great Kim Stanley Robinson riveted the crowd last Monday night at the inaugural CapRadio Reads Authors On Stage at the Alumni Center on the Sac State campus.

We sat center stage and talked about his new novel, New York: 2140, segueing into conversations about the possibility of colonizing and terraforming Mars (it’s far in the future); his recent trip to Antarctica (look for his piece in the December issue of Smithsonian Magazine); what Sacramento would look like if it were flooded by 50 feet of sea water, as New York is in 2140 (the daily commute would certainly be different); and the notion of “assisted migration,” as in relocating polar bears to cooler climes.

Then we opened the discussion to audience members, who had some very smart, insightful questions. In his answers, Stan showed his vast knowledge of literature, science, history and economics, sparked by his characteristic wit.

Now, back to The Wife, on sale Jan. 23: It’s a “domestic thriller” along the lines of Behind Closed Doors by B.A. Paris and The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware—which means twists and turns and a surprise ending.

Here’s the synopsis: Life seems ideal now that defense attorney and single mom Angela has married Jason, a brilliant economist, and moved to Manhattan. In her new persona, the tragic secrets of her past seem safe.

But her marriage begins unraveling when two women from Jason’s past appear with accusations against him. Angela believes her husband is guiltless, but she is forced to question everything when one of the women mysteriously disappears. Now Angela must choose between defending her husband and saving herself.

Mix that with deceit, murder, courtroom drama and shocking revelations and we’ve got another page-turner from Burke.

One telling indicator is this: Burke’s publisher, Harper, is promoting The Wife as the “much-anticipated follow-up to The Ex,” which got huge buzz when it hit bookshelves last year. The Mystery Writers of America nominated The Ex for a 2017 Edgar Award for best novel, and BookBub Blog CQ included it in its list of “The 22 Biggest Thrillers of 2016.” Can Burke top that with The Wife?

A few years ago, Burke partnered with “queen of suspense” Mary Higgins Clark to co-write their subsequent four-title Under Suspicion suspense series, centered around a TV show featuring cold-case murders. Their latest is Every Breath You Take. But that’s another story.


What: Author Alafair Burke on stage with interviewer Allen Pierleoni. A question-and-answer session with the audience will  follow.

When: 6 p.m. Jan. 29; doors will open at 5:15 p.m.

Where: Capital Public Radio, 7055 Folsom Boulevard, Sacramento

Cost: $30 (includes admission and a 30 percent-discounted autographed copy of The Wife); or $10 without a copy of the book.