Monday, July 16, 2012
Never Tell by Alafair Burke
Sixteen-year-old Julia Whitmire appeared to have everything: a famous father, a luxurious Manhattan town house, a coveted spot at the elite Casden prep school. When she is found dead in her bathtub, a handwritten suicide note left on her bed, her parents insist that their daughter would never take her own life.
But Julia's enviable life was more complicated than it seemed. The pressure to excel at Casden was enormous. Abuse of prescription antidepressants and drugs for attention-deficit hyperactivity ran rampant among students; an unlabeled bottle of pills in Julia's purse suggests she had succumbed to the trend. And a search of Julia's computer reveals that in the days leading up to her death she was engaged in a dangerous game of cyber-bullying against an unlikely victim.
NYPD detective Ellie Hatcher is convinced the case is a suicide, but she knows from personal experience that a loving family can be the last to accept the truth. When the Whitmires use their power to force a criminal investigation, Ellie's resistance causes trouble for her both at work and in her personal life.
As she is pressured to pursue a case she doesn't believe in, she is pulled into Julia's inner circle - an eclectic mix of overly precocious teenagers from Manhattan's most privileged families as well as street kids from Greenwich Village. But when the target of Julia's harassment continues to receive death threats, Ellie is forced to acknowledge that Julia may have learned the hard way that some secrets should never be told.
Riveting! That is the word to describe this novel. It was absolutely unputdownable and I loved it! This past rainy weekend I wanted something with suspense and lo and behold that is exactly what I got with Alafair Burke's, latest book, Never Tell.
A young girl named Julia is found dead in her bathtub with a suicide note nearby and that leads detective Ellie Hatcher to believe that the kid committed suicide - its an open and shut case. However, the girl's family doesn't agree and after some phone calls are made, Hatcher and her partner Rogan are canvassing the streets and meeting up with Julia's friends to find out more about their supposed victim. And the information they find out is interesting and unbelievable at times - its pretty crazy actually. Quite frankly, Never Tell, kept me on my toes the whole way through. Usually, I'm pretty good at figuring out who the murderer is and what really happened, but this time round, my guesses were way off and I didn't find out what really happened until the end. I actually liked the revelations that were made throughout the book and being surprised in the end - definitely made for a fun read.
Never Tell is a well written mystery/suspense novel that has some pretty crazy twists and turns that will have you on the edge of your seat. The story lines are interesting and dotted with references to everyday trends and news stories; which make for a rather authentic and gripping reading experience. As for the characters, they are very flawed and relatable - which I loved. All in all, this was definitely a fun book to read. I was hooked from the beginning and didn't put the book down until I got to the end and found out "who done it."
I'm definitely recommending this book to anyone and everyone who loves a good mystery/suspense read - you will not be disappointed!
And for fans of Alafair Burke, here's a link to her site detailing the Duffer Awards that she recently hosted (again) - check it out!