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Never Tell: A Novel of Suspense

384 pages5 hours


This addictive thriller from acclaimed suspense writer Alafair Burke draws its details from the author’s own experiences as a criminal law professor and deputy district attorney, creating an exhilarating, true-to-life tale of crime and its consequences.

Sixteen-year-old Julia Whitmire appeared to have everything: a famous father, a luxurious Manhattan townhouse, 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 insists that their daughter would never take her own life.

Detective Ellie Hatcher will be forced to uncover the truth behind this apparent suicide, navigating Julia's intriguing connections to both New York’s wealthiest—and its most dispossessed.

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Never Tell - Alafair Burke

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This audiobook kept me entertained on a long trip. I'm a fairly new fan of Alafair Burke and this is my second book of hers that I've read. I really like the character of Ellie Hatcher and look forward to reading the rest of the books in this series. I've recently bought a signed edition of her newest, The Ex, and am looking forward to reading that as soon I can get through the stack of 15 library books next to my chair!
I honestly didn't love this one as much as I did the previous three Ellie Hatcher novels. I think there were too many plots and sub plots to keep track of and as a result, some of the narrative got lost. I didn't care for her regular use of "x weeks later" rather than covering, for example, Casey Heinz' time in jail. The final twists with Adrienne jumped the shark a bit too much for my liking.Too much Ellie in one week for me? Maybe.
I think is author is a new favorite author of mine. I couldn't put the book down. I need to see what else she has written!
This was my first Burke experience, and it certainly wont be my last. While I can't share too much about my reading experience as it spoils the plot, I can tell you this was my first Ellie Hatcher mystery and in the beginning I was afraid I would miss some background or character connection, but my likeness for Ellie was almost immediate and I never had a hard time catching up with her life or finding a way to relate to her. Not only does Burke offer a fantastic book straight out of an SVU (only much better) episode, she also offers real life drama, romance and everyday scenarios. I enjoyed that even though the book was riddled with dark topics she broke it up with humor, laughter and some sad moments, making the book a complete package. Nothing screams thrilling mystery better than a story that leaves you guessing at every turn. I loved the spins Burke created in the story to twist my thoughts into mini freak outs, meaning: when I thought I had it figured out, a page later my idea would get blown to bits. What I found most impressive about this complicated layered upon layered story was how well developed each character was written. Not once did I have a problem transitioning or getting lost inside each point of view and every issue thrown at me as the reader. Never did I lose interest or stop guessing until the very end. It was truly a great reading experience and one that many will have a blast taking.Highly recommended to readers who love intense murder mysteries and crime thrillers.
Short and Sweet SummaryA mega-rich student from the elite Casden School in New York is dead. The evidence points to suicide, but her mother demands an investigation...and she gets one via her husband's string pulling in the more money than anybody needs social network of New York City. Ellie and Rogan are called in on the case, and Ellie's not happy about it. She'd like to just call it what it is and move on. Channeling leftover parental issues about her own father's death, Ellie has to repeatedly push her emotions aside in order to pull this very tangled web apart.What I Liked Ellie Hatcher - Ellie is smart, gritty, flawed, and passionate about her work and who she is in contrast with what society expects of women, especially women in her profession. The inside look at police work as well as that of the law and how the two professions work together (or not) to solve crimes is always very interesting to me.Technology, Internet, Blogs...police work...Burke uses up to date issues and investigative procedures in her stories and that may be the most refreshing thing about her writing. For example, the suicide note allegedly left by a teenager who probably wrote very little, if anything down on a piece of paper in her entire life..the need for handwriting experts is now completely useless. IT departments and techie gurus are now vitally important parts of investigative teams...where postings take place, IP addresses, blog owners, time frames, computer histories, etc. It's really mind blowing when you look at the technological issues of police work in today's social media culture.Psychology, mental disorders of children and adolescents, medications, and big business associated with this ever developing problem. Again, Burke keeps her focus on up to date issues...this time over-medicated kids and the high stakes, high pressured world of elite high schools and colleges. While dealing with the crimes, Burke also takes the time to educate the reader on both sides of this problem, those who abuse the system and those who truly need help and slip through the cracks due to the aforementioned system abuse.I've read 3 of Burke's books, and so far, they have been incredibly well thought out and put together layer by layer. There is generally no one victim and no one bad guy...and it is very difficult to figure out what's going on until the very end. I'm very bad about looking at the ending of books before I get there, but with Burke, you might as well not even do that. The answers are too tightly wrapped up in events to be able to find the answer in one or two sentences. That's great mystery/thriller writing to me :)What I Didn't LikeI like Max...and I can really see this relationship working, but Max, please don't start pushing Ellie. K? There were almost too many characters for me...there were leads and then there were leads that led nowhere...of course, this frustration could very well be exactly what Burke wanted her readers to experience bc I'm sure that type of distraction, whether it's routine distraction or "do-gooders," is something real-life investigators have to fight constantly.Overall RecommendationIf you've read the other Ellie Hatcher books, don't miss this one...settle yourself in for some brainwork as well. If you haven't read Ellie Hatcher but like a strong female, law enforcement protagonist, start with the first book, Dead Connection. I do think to understand Ellie that the reader needs to know her story and how it unfolds throughout her adult life.
I only 'discovered' Alafair Burke a couple of years ago when I picked up 212 - the third in a series featuring NYPD Detective Ellie Hatcher. I remember thinking at that time 'why is this author not already on my 'must read' list'? (She was promptly added!) Never Tell is the fourth book in the Hatcher series. Burke piques our interest with the opening prologue - an entry from a blog - "Second Acts: Confessions of a Former Victim and Current Survivor." Cut to Ellie and her partner Rogan - they've been called out to what appears to be a clear cut suicide. But the dead girl is young - and her parents are rich and influential. Her mother insists her daughter would never kill herself. Ellie thinks the call is a waste of her time and believes the death is exactly what it appears to be. Rogan - he's got his doubts. And it turns out he's right. A chastened Hatcher approaches the case with a new attitude. And what she finds........ Ellie is a great protagonist. She's real and fallible, but at the same time tough, dogged and determined. I enjoyed the secondary story line of Ellie's love life - her relationship with Max, an NYC Assistant District Attorney. I always like to get to 'know' a character's life and follow the changes throughout a series. Rogan works as a good foil to Ellie's personality. They are complete opposites, but work well together. Their dialogue is easy and entertaining. Burke has again come up with a plot populated with enough false leads and twists to keep me wondering 'whodunit' until the last few chapters. Never Tell kept me interested from first to last page. Burke has worked as a criminal prosecutor and currently teaches criminal law. That insider knowledge gives her writing an added punch and a dose of reality. A recommended series. Fans of Lisa Gardner and Linda Fairstein would enjoy Alafair Burke's books. I'm looking forward to her next book - a stand alone called If You Were Here, releasing in June 2013.
I won this from the Goodreads First Reads Giveaway.Really enjoyed this book. I liked it so much that I am adding this author to my "list" so I'll be sure to check out some of her other novels.
Everyone loves Jodi Picolut but after two of her books had such erroneous medical management as important to her stories, I had to stop reading her. There should be better editing. This book was similar in that one of the sub plots about pharmaceutical research was just so far from reality that I couldn't get past this criticism. I realize we are talking fiction here, but the way the author portrayed this aspect of one of the character's actions was just plain stupid (and to someone who does research for a living, insulting). Please, what are editors paid to do?
Very well plotted mystery - clues are there and fair. NYPD detective Ellie Hatcher is a personable protagonist with a good partner in J.J. Rogan. The twisty mystery is the star of the book but Ellie's personal life merits some ink and I found myself rooting for her and her beau. At the book's end she and her partner have solved an especially difficult case and unearthed others which are dealt with in a realistic fashion. I'm heading back to read the earlier Ellie Hatcher novels now.
I love when I have read an author from the beginning of a series and find that each subsequent book is getting better and better. Such was the case with this, the fourth Ellie Hatcher novel, when she and her partner are called to the scene of what looks like a suicide. Should be a simple case but turns out to be anything but and the reader follows as clues and red herrings are followed and discarded. Plenty of twists and I have to say I was totally surprised by the ending.
Received for Audio ReviewOverall Rating: 4.25Story Rating: 4.50Character Rating: 4.00Audio Rating: 4.00 (Not part of the overall rating)First Thought when Finished: This is the 2nd Alafair Burke novel that I have read and I can now officially say that I am a fan girl!What I Loved: This was one case that ended up going in several different directions before finally getting solved! Ellie and Rogan are probably one of my favorite detective duos. I love that they are not romantically involved and have a pretty good friendship. That basically means they can be real with each other. In this case, Rogan had to get real with Ellie and tell her she was getting in her own way. The methodical way that the case played out after that was brilliant. It kept me guessing almost to the very end!What I Liked: I really liked the side characters of Casey and Ramona. I thought that playing out a case with teenagers involved was going to be annoying but these characters were written/portrayed at exactly where they would be in this stage in their life. Casey was specifically compelling and his story played out in a way that was satisfying.What mad me go huh?: I was kind of surprised at how quick the timeline moved. I wouldn't have noticed other than it was mentioned a few times. Audio Review: The Audio was narrated by Eliza Foss and ran 10 hrs and 54 mins. I thought Eliza did a pretty good job with the pacing, accentuation, and characters. It only took a bit to warm up to her voice but by chapter 3 I was really enjoying the book. I will say that if you listen to the disk version that the music is a little annoying at the end of each disk. Also, the repeating of the last few lines from the disk before was unnecessary but that is not on the narrator. Overall this was a pretty good audio production.Final Thought: Alafair Burke is slowly becoming one of my favorite mystery/thriller writers.
NYPD detective Ellie Hatcher has been called to the scene of a murder at a luxurious Manhattan townhouse. When she arrives, she finds the grieving mother who is both distraught and angry. Her daughter, Julie Whitmore, only sixteen-years old is dead in the bathroom upstairs. She has a right to be upset but angry? Ellie learns that the EMT's that have arrived on the scene before her, claim that this is nothing more than a suicide but her mother doesn't believe that is what happened. She believes her daughter has been murdered.The tell-tale signs? Besides the body in the bathtub filled with a pinkish water, she has slit her wrist and there is the razor blade next to the body. There are even a couple of practice marks just above that one. A bottle of wine, lies on the floor of the bathroom and on the bed, a tear stained suicide note. Even Ellie, can't disagree with the EMT's theory. She has seen way to many of these to even wager than anything out of the ordinary has indeed taken place. So when she brushes this one off, she finds out that money can buy more than just happiness, it can get you to do the job you were hired to do, and the Whitmore's have more than enough money and influence to justify having Ellie launch a full-investigation.What she will soon discover is the seemingly small details she missed when she assumed that this was an ordinary suicide and launches this investigation in ways she never thought possible.In the novel, Never Tell by Alafair Burke, the reader is immediately taken in from the first page into a tragedy that happens on many levels and yet interconnected at the same time. The first part of the investigation is into the apparent suicide/murder of Julia Whitmore and the second into the life that Julia really lead that no one seems to understand, not even her parents or close friends. This is a rollercoaster ride of the best kind for those of you that love a great crime solving murder mystery. If you love shows like CSI or Numbers, then you will LOVE this novel.I received Never Tell by Alafair Burke, compliments of TLC Book Tours for my honest review and have to say, this one keep me guessing. I ran into more dead ends on my own investigation and that too me, is a sign of some great writing! I would easily rate this one a 4 out of 5 stars. There is some profanity that some of my readers might find offensive, but overall the book is an amazing mystery!
N.Y.P.D. detective Ellie Hatcher and her partner are called to the scene of an apparent suicide. The victim is age sixteen and from a wealthy and influential family.The author uses her knowledge of the streets of New York to create action that rolls out as if the reader was a pedestrian on the street or in Washington Square Park, listening to the sounds of laughter and watching the eccentricities of the cast of characters.Ellie not only investigates the questionable suicide of the teenager but has flashbacks to her own policeman father who died of an apparent self inflicted gunshot wound.The teenage children and their relationships to their parents are the heart of the story. Many of these teenagers live on the streets and have been cast aside by their parents. There is also a good lesson about the danger of abuse of perscription drugs and antidepressents.The author keeps the reader guessing through the intricacies of the story and they will shake their heads in appreciation of the author's writing skill as they read the concluding chapters in this entertaining story.
When privileged rich girl Julia Whitmore is found dead in her Manhattan bathtub, NYPD detective Ellie Hatcher chalks it up to suicide despite the insistence of Julia's mother that it's murder. But the Whitmores have connections and Ellie is forced to investigate Julia's death as a murder. Ellie learns that everything is not black and white as she delves into Julia's family and prep school friends. Author Alafair Burke gives readers a closer look at the pressure to excel that is placed upon students today. She exposes a story of abuse from the past that is stirred up in the present with disastrous results. Burke's Ellie Hatcher is stretched in ways she has never imagined."Never Tell" is a suspenseful novel that takes readers down unexpected paths. Fans of Ellie Hatcher definitely will want to read "Never Tell." Although this is the fourth book in the Ellie Hatcher series, readers will be able to jump right in without any trouble. I highly recommend "Never Tell."Note: I received an ARC through the Amazon Vine program.