Thursday, May 23, 2013

Bookish Thoughts: Never Tell by Alafair Burke

Never Tell by Alafair Burke
Harper, 2012
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. 




© 2013, Wendy Runyon of Musings of a Bookish Kitty. All Rights Reserved. If you're reading this on a site other than Musings of a Bookish Kitty or Wendy's feed, be aware that this post has been stolen and is used without permission.

20 comments:

  1. I love the sound of this one and am lucky to have it on my Kindle -- now to find the time to read it:) Have a great long weekend Wendy.

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    1. Diane - I hope you like it when you get to it, Diane! I am so glad I finally gave the author a try.

      I hope you are enjoying your week! The long weekend was very nice--although they always feel so short, you know?

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  2. Oooh, sounds suspenseful page turner. It's good that it worked as a stand alone. I'm such a picky girl, I'd definitely have to read the first few books first, lol.

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    1. Jennifer - It was a page turner! I want to go back and start with the first book. I really do prefer to read series books in order. I'm not sure why I let myself get away with not doing so now and then.

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  3. This book keeps coming up again and again. I think my biggest hesitation is the urge to pick up yet another series! They can be very addicting.

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    1. Sandy - I understand. Series are definitely addicting. And it's not like we really need to get into another one, is it? I have so many going, I can't remember them all.

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  4. Sounds like a busy read that tackles quite a lot of issues. Great review, I'll be sure to keep an eye out for this one.

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    1. Tracy - It does have just about everything in it except for the kitchen sink! At least the author fits it all in smoothly.

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  5. It's nice to see it stands alone well. Thought provoking suspense sounds good to me.

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  6. Good to read your review, because I've been wanting to read her work, too, so your thoughts as a new reader were particularly welcome. The plot sounded good, but with that list of issues included it sounds a lot more detailed and more interesting.

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    1. Charlie - There is a lot to this one and I think the author pulls it all together very well.

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  7. This one sounds fantastic and it's been on my TBR list for a while! I so wish i was a speed-reader!

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    1. Staci - Me too! Think of all the books we could read if we were!

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  8. I love that this was everything you hoped it would be - what a treat!

    Thanks for being a part of the tour.

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    1. Heather - I'm glad I finally was able to fit one of the author's books in. Sometimes a tour is a good way to move a book like this up in my TBR pile. :-)

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  9. Sounds like a great read! I'll have to check it out!

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    1. Melody - I hope you do, Melody! I think you'd like it.

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  10. Since I've read 2 others in this series, I'll have to demur with other bloggers who've said Never Tell stands alone...but I do think you "get" Ellie a little more in Never Tell if you've read the back story of her father's death and her face to face with the serial killer her father was after. Enjoyed your review!

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    1. Peppermint - Thanks! I do want to go back and start from the beginning. I think most series, even when individual books can stand alone, are even better if read in order. That's my preferred way of reading series books, anyway. :-)

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