A Novel of Suspense
By Alafair Burke
(Harper, Hardcover, 9780061999161, 368pp.)
Publication Date: June 2012
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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 world was more complicated than it seemed. The pressure to excel at Casden was enormous. Abuse of prescription antidepressants and ADHD medication 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 cyberbullying 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.
ALAFAIR BURKE is the bestselling author of seven previous novels, including the standalone Long Gone and the Ellie Hatcher series: 212, Angels Tip, and Dead Connection. A former prosecutor, she now teaches criminal law and lives in Manhattan.
“[Burke] has delivered another winner….Two seemingly different storylines converge in a shocking way, demonstrating Burke’s remarkable abilities as a writer….Hatcher is a complex character, and her journey both personally and professionally will have even the most jaded suspense aficionado rapidly turning the pages.”
-Jeff Ayers, Associated Press
“Burke has a good eye for the many faces of New York….Burke’s story is complex, but her pace is fast, her prose is crisp and her duplicitous characters ring true in the Darwinian world she creates.”
-Patrick Anderson, Washington Post
“Burke’s last book was a stand-alone, but in Never Tell she’s returned to the character her readers know best, the fierce and gutsy NYPD detective Ellie Hatcher - now investigating the apparent suicide of a privileged Manhattan teen.”
“The meticulous plotting, coupled with Ellie’s complicated evolution as a heroine, make this Burke’s strongest work to date.”
-Publishers Weekly, starred review
“Once in a while, a book comes along and makes you sit up and notice. A supremely intelligent novel, masterfully created with a telling hand and unique voice, Never Tell is one of those books. Crime writing doesn’t get much better than this.”
-New York Journal of Books
“Never Tell is perhaps Burke’s most ambitious and complex novel to date, yet it’s also her most readable….will leave the reader thinking about this book long after the last page as been turned.”
-Joe Hartlaub, Bookreporter.com
“One of Burke’s trademarks is connecting disparate plotlines, which she does here in spades….Skillfully structured…”
-Michele Leber, Booklist
“What initially appears to be a simple story quickly becomes more intricate and compelling, making the pages fly. Highly recommended, especially for Lisa Gardner or Laura Lippman fans.”
-Stacy Alesi, Library Journal
“In Ellie, Burke has built a likable, flawed heroine….her plotting rarely disappoints. A smooth, compelling read that is proof positive that Burke continues to mature as a writer; this entry in the Ellie Hatcher series sings.”
“Author Alafair Burke takes her mystery fans on another wild ride in Never Tell.”
-The Sun Newspaper
“Never Tell is a great read. Alafair Burke writes a riveting story with a strong female protagonist.”
“Burke’s writing is brisk and sharp, and her glimpse into the world of Manhattan’s super-rich teenaged elite makes for a diverting read.”
“In Never Tell, Alafair Burke keeps a tight hold on each of the many strings of a very complicated plot while also expanding the character of her protagonist, Ellie Hatcher.”
“Burke’s sharp portrayal of characters, both recurring and otherwise, defies stereotype and predictability….Never Tell is perhaps Burke’s most ambitious and complex novel to date, yet it’s also her most readable….will leave the reader thinking about this book long after the last page as been turned.”
-Joe Hartlaub, Bookreporter.com