Friday, June 21, 2013

If You Were Here: A Novel of Suspense by Alafair Burke

(Thank you to TLC Book Tours and the publisher for providing me with a copy of this book!)
about book:

Chasing a hot story, magazine journalist McKenna Wright uncovers information that sends her back to the past, to the disappearance of a close friend - a classmate of her husband's at West Point - who vanished without a trace a decade ago.

McKenna always believed the truth went deeper than the police investigation ever reached.  To find answers, the former prosecutor turned reporter embarks on a twisting search that leads across New York City - and into dark secrets buried dangerously close to home...

my thoughts:

Hmm. Not sure what to make of this one.  Part of me wishes I had DNFed it, while another part of me kind of liked it. Confusing, eh?  I guess what it boils down to is that I normally enjoy Burke's books - they are suspenseful, tense, and keep me on the edge of my seat.  However, this time round I found myself underwhelmed with the weak story line, confusing array of characters, and anti-climatic ending.  It just didn't work for me.  I kept putting the book down and taking breaks from it, until last night when I made myself finish it.  I just wanted to be done with it.

The story is about McKenna Jordan. She's a journalist who is debating whether she should write a book about something that happened ten years ago - the same something that cost her her job as a DA.  Meanwhile, she's also working on a story about a kid who got rescued after he fell onto the subway tracks.  The woman who rescued him bears a striking resemblance to McKenna's old friend who went missing ten years ago.  Could the old friend be back?  And if so, where the hell has she been all of these years?  Armed with nothing more than a hunch, McKenna starts digging into the past and as a result, all hell breaks loose.  Pretty gripping stuff, eh?  Well, it was and it wasn't.

I enjoyed getting to know McKenna, she was smart, strong, independent, and utterly determined.  As for the rest of the characters, they were more annoying than anything.  I found myself disliking McKenna's husband and pretty much everyone else early on - they all just seemed to lack the depth that McKenna's character possessed.  And the story line was just too ridiculous to even take seriously.  I was baffled that Burke chose to write such a convoluted mystery for McKenna to figure out.  There were just too many instances where the story kept going, when it should have stopped.  I felt like the plot was topped with one idea too many.  So, when the ending came, I wasn't surprised by anything - I was just happy to be done with the book.

If I rated books on a scale of one to five, I would probably give this one a two. I'll still read Burke's novels, but I think I'll wait awhile before I pick up another one.

Here's the link to the TLC Book tour schedule for If You Were Here.  Check it out!  Some people loved this book, so who knows, I could be way off base.

And now I'm off to read The Pleasures of Summer.  Happy reading!!
Thank you to TLC Book Tour and the publisher for providing me with a copy of this book!


The Relentless Reader said...

"I just wanted to be done with it." That says it all right there doesn't it?

Wouldn't it be great if every single book was amazing? Ah well. Onward and upward! :D

Bellezza said...

I have a Burke novel which I downloaded from Barnes and Noble on Free Book Friday one week. I haven't read it yet, but Ido love a good thriller. However, I guess I won't start with this one! I tried Tami Hoag's Ashes to Ashes over vacation, but it was so violent I couldn't continue. Thriller interns of suspense? Great. Intricate details of victims burnt beyond recognition? Not so much.

Nadia said...

Jennifer, yeah it would be great, but what would we complain about then :)

Bellezza, I can definitely understand why you stopped with that book - yikes! Sounds awful. The Burke wasn't bad, it just wasn't good. I've read a few of her other books and they have been great - well, except for this one. Oh well.

Heather J @ TLC Book Tours said...

Darn, I'm sorry this one wasn't a favorite for you but I'm glad you'll still read more from Burke.

Thanks for being on the tour.