Review: Mine by J.L. Butler

Title: Mine by J.L. Butler
Publisher: William Morrow
Genre: Contemporary, Mystery, Suspense
Length: 432 pages
Book Rating: C

Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through Edelweiss


In this riveting tale of psychological suspense, a divorce lawyer risks her career, her sanity, and her life when she falls into an illicit, all-consuming affair with her client—who becomes the primary suspect in his estranged wife’s sudden disappearance.

Young divorce lawyer Francine Day has methodically built her career doing everything right. She’s one big case away from securing her place among London’s legal elite. But when she meets her new client, Martin Joy, the natural caution that has protected Francine and fueled her rise melts away. Powerless to fight the irresistible magnetism between them, client and counsel tumble into a blistering affair that breaks every rule.

Though Martin insists his marriage is over, Francine doesn’t believe him. Certain details he’s told her don’t quite add up. Consumed with a passion she cannot control and increasingly obsessed with Martin’s relationship with his wife, Donna, Francine follows the woman one night . . . and discovers her having dinner with her supposedly soon-to-be-ex-husband.

The next morning, Francine awakens in her neighbor’s apartment with blood on her clothes and no recollection of what transpired after she spied Donna and Martin together. Then Francine receives more devastating news: Martin’s wife has vanished. That dinner was the last place anyone has seen Donna Joy alive.

Suddenly, Francine finds herself caught in a dangerous labyrinth of deception, lies, and secrets, in which one false move could lead to her undoing. What happened that night and why can’t Francine remember? Where is Donna and who is responsible for her disappearance? The further Francine goes to find answers, the tighter the net seems to draw—around her lover, herself, and the life she’s meticulously built.


Mine by J.L. Butler is a leisurely paced mystery with suspense elements.

Francine “Fran” Day is an ambitious barrister who specializes in family law. She is a workaholic who manages her bipolar disorder with medication and a tightly regimented lifestyle. She works long hours and eschews relationships in order to maintain strict control over her emotions and life. In her newest case, Fran is representing wealthy hedge-fund manager Martin Joy in his divorce from his wife, Donna. A chance encounter one evening leads to torrid affair with her client and Fran is soon obsessed with her illicit relationship. When Donna disappears after spending the evening with Martin, he is the prime suspect in her disappearance.  Fran is desperate to keep the truth about her affair with Martin under wraps, but will her risky decisions cost her career and possibly her life?

Fran is supposed to be an intelligent woman but she makes some very stupid choices once she becomes involved with Martin. She risks everything to spend time with him, including joining him for public dinner engagements and a surprising introduction to his business partner, Alex Cole and his wife Sophie. Even after Martin falls under police scrutiny, Fran makes some incredibly precarious and ill-thought out decisions that jeopardize her law career and her mental health.

For someone who has made it a point to avoid romantic entanglements, Fran falls fast and hard for Martin. She is completely enthralled by his smooth charm and alpha male posturing. Fran completely discounts the troubling information she learns about his ruthless business dealings and she disbelieves the more unsavory aspects of his relationship with Donna. In the aftermath of Donna’s disappearance, Fran becomes completely unhinged and obsessed as she tries to single-handedly prove Martin’s innocence.

Although the premise is initially very intriguing, Mine quickly becomes repetitive and unrealistic. Fran is an irritating character who easily turns into the helpless, hapless woman who is powerless to resist succumbing to her lust for a powerful business man. Martin is a slickly polished manipulator but it is Fran’s neighbor Pete who turns out to be the most repugnant and despicable addition to the storyline. J.L. Butler  brings the novel to a twist-filled conclusion but everything is wrapped up a little too neatly.

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Filed under Contemporary, JL Butler, Mine, Mystery, Rated C, Review, Suspense, William Morrow

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