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For Better and Worse by Margot Hunt
Legal thriller

For Better and Worse

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by Margot Hunt

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Quick take

How to get away with murder … husband and wife edition.

Good to know

  • Illustrated icon, Icon_FastRead

    Fast read

  • Illustrated icon, Icon_Police

    Police

  • Illustrated icon, Icon_Psychological

    Psychological

  • Illustrated icon, Icon_LegalThriller

    Legal thriller

Synopsis

When they fell in love back in law school, Natalie and Will Clarke joked that they were so brilliant, together they could plan the perfect murder. After fifteen rocky years of marriage, they had better hope they’re right.

Their young son Jacob’s principal is accused of molesting a troubled student. It’s a horrifying situation—and the poison spreads rapidly. One night before bed, Jacob tells Natalie he is a victim, too. In that moment, her concept of justice changes forever. Natalie decides the predator must die.

To shelter Jacob from the trauma of a trial, Natalie concocts an elaborate murder plot and Will becomes her unwilling partner. The Clarkes are about to find out what happens when your life partner becomes your accomplice—and your alibi.

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Free sample

Get an early look from the first pages of Margot Hunt's For Better and Worse
For Better and Worse

Prologue

Seventeen Years Earlier

On their first date, Will took Natalie to a cozy French bistro in uptown New Orleans. The restaurant was painted a dark, moody red and had gilt-framed mirrors on the walls that reflected the candles that flickered on every table. It was a popular eatery and every table was full, even on a Thursday night. It was also nearby the Tulane University campus, where Will and Nat were both law students. They’d each ordered the steak-frites—which had given them reason to exchange a brief smile. We’re so compatible we ordered the same thing! And shared a bottle of the house red, which was better than expected. While they sipped their wine, and waited for their salads to arrive, they chatted about the Contracts class they had together.

“Word on the street is that Professor Harley met his wife when she was his student,” Will said.

“Seriously? Isn’t there a rule against professors dating students?”

“I’m sure there is. Maybe they kept it quiet until after she’d graduated,” Will said, thinking that Natalie had especially nice eyebrows, and wondering if it was odd that he found them erotic. Was it weird to be attracted to a woman’s eyebrows?

“Still, he was taking a pretty big risk.”

Will shrugged. “They must have thought it was worth it. Maybe it was true love.”

Nat felt her cheeks flush at his mention of love. She looked down at the wineglass in her hand and rotated the stem slowly.

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Why I love it

When I was little, I loved watching courtroom dramas with my brainy litigator of an aunt, Cecile. It wasn’t the shows themselves that entertained me, but her ice-cold running commentary. “You could never be indicted for that,” she’d remark, effortlessly dismantling the entire wireframe of an episode with one sharp critique. All those evenings on the couch made me appreciate well-crafted crime fiction. Because why settle for entertainment that is shallow, lazy, and uninformed when there are stories out there that are better?

I am happy to report that For Better and Worse is one such worthy read. In the beginning of this flinty book, we meet Natalie and Will, two bright attorneys who joke that they could pull off a murder. Fast forward 15 years: The principal of the local middle school has been accused of molesting a student, and there’s reason to believe their son has been harmed. In retaliation, Natalie crafts a plan to kill the predator, entangling her husband in the scheme. But can they stay one step ahead of the police? Can they really get away with murder?

The bread and butter of a good thriller is character and plot. But what sets this one apart is neither its candid, ballsy heroine—though Natalie’s practical approach to murder is weirdly satisfying to read—nor its cat-and-mouse story line—though the husband and wife duo’s swervy dance out of the law’s grasp is entertaining, to say the least. What makes this book come to life is the fact that the author did her homework, and the resulting authentic story she spins is one of burner phones and evading the FBI, of destroying physical evidence and smirking at a menacing detective while saying, “You can’t make me answer that.” It’s the best thriller I’ve read all year, and I can’t wait to send it to Aunt Cecile.

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Member ratings (8,518)

  • Valerie N.

    Mission, KS

    The detail and set-up in this book is very well thought out. The writer made me be able to see the story as I was reading it. I would love to see this made into a movie. Very good read! If you like thought provoking books

  • Kimberly R.

    Castroville, TX

    Could not put this book down!! It immediately makes you think “what would I do in that situation?” And i can guarantee you, I’d do the same. It was an amazing book, that I couldn’t read fast enough!!

  • Jenneeffer F.

    Fort Drum, NY

    Oh. My. God. As a mother of two little boys I can’t imagine going through something like this! I’m on Nat’s Team all the way! I wanted and hoped for that ending so bad but still shocked me!! Loved it!

  • Hope C.

    Klamath Falls, OR

    This read had me hooked from the beginning. It had me intrigued and I just knew they would do the deed together. This ready left opportunity for a series which has me curious. Great ending. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

  • Melanie D.

    Fort Mill, SC

    There were definitely some predictable plot points, but I was truly surprised with the ending. And I found myself conflicted because I was hoping the bad guys would come out on top. (Don’t judge ????.)

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