Crime Fiction; 368 pgs
When sixteen year old Julia Whitmore's body is discovered in her bathtub, it seems like a clear case of suicide. Emergency personnel, the coroner, and even the detectives agree. Julia's mother disagrees, however. She and her husband use their wealth and connections to pull every string possible to ensure their daughter's death is investigated as a homicide. Detectives Ellie Hatcher and J.J. Rogan soon discover that one secret can lead to another. The investigation takes them into the homes of the wealthy elite to the streets and homeless shelters as they try and piece the puzzle together of why a girl like Julia Whitmore might take her own life--or why someone would take it for her.
Never Tell by Alafair Burke is the fourth book in the Detective Ellie Hatcher series, but it is my first book by the author. Like most mysteries in a series, this book stands well on its own. Although, there is reference to past character history that definitely is worth going back to explore further. I liked Never Tell enough to want to do just that.
I thoroughly enjoyed Never Tell, and the way the author brought together several different story arcs. There were quite a few twists and turns, all of which seemed to come naturally as the story progressed. And there was so much to this novel! The author touches on a variety of issues including sexual abuse, prescription drug abuse among youth, marital discord, transgender issues, homelessness, suicide, and disparity between classes, among other things. What I especially liked was the way each of Burke's characters were drawn--as one of the characters described, they were both black and white. Not just gray or black or white. It's what makes this book all the more interesting.
Ellie's own story is one that I wish I knew more about (and why I want to read previous books in the series). This case was particularly hard for her because of her own past. Her father's death had been shrouded in mystery for so long. While she denied it affected her current investigation, it was obvious it weighed on her throughout. The reader is also let in on Ellie's personal life in terms of her relationship with Max Donovan, an Assistant District Attorney. It presents a more complete picture of Ellie, with her tough attitude and fierce dedication to her job.
I had been curious about trying this author's work for quite a while now and am glad I finally gave her a try. Never Tell was everything I hoped it would be--suspenseful and entertaining as well as thought provoking.
Rating: (Very Good)
To learn more about Alafair Burke and her books, please visit the author's website. You can also learn more about the author by visiting her Facebook page, and Twitter account.
I hope you will check out what others had to say about Never Tell on the TLC Book Tours route!
Many thanks to the TLC Book Tours for the opportunity to be a part of this book tour. I read an e-copy version of this book which I purchased for my own reading pleasure.
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