Customer Reviews for

If You Were Here

Average Rating 3.5
( 22 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(7)

4 Star

(8)

3 Star

(3)

2 Star

(1)

1 Star

(3)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

4.5 Stars 'If You Were Here' is a phenomenal new mystery/thrill

4.5 Stars

'If You Were Here' is a phenomenal new mystery/thriller novel by bestselling author Alafair Burke. It follows leading lady McKenna Wright - who is a journalist for a magazine - as she looks into a story about an unknown woman who rescued a teenage boy from th...
4.5 Stars

'If You Were Here' is a phenomenal new mystery/thriller novel by bestselling author Alafair Burke. It follows leading lady McKenna Wright - who is a journalist for a magazine - as she looks into a story about an unknown woman who rescued a teenage boy from the subway tracks right before he was to be hit by a train. McKenna watches footage of the event and is surprised when the mysterious woman strongly resembles her friend Susan, who has been missing for the past decade. Now McKenna is determined to find the truth about the woman in the video and what really happened to Susan all those years ago. She has no idea how far - or how close - her investigation is about to lead her.

This was a magnificently written thriller novel that had me captivated from the first paragraph. There are lots of story lines happening at once throughout the book, so there are several smaller plots and mysteries that the reader has to keep up with, which only makes it harder to put down. McKenna is an awesome main character. She's a strong, intelligent, and capable journalist who works hard and is determined to discover the truth at all costs. I found her easy to identify with and immediately loved her as the heroine. The other characters were all well written, even the ones that barely made an appearance in the story, so much so that they all left a distinct impression on me as I read about them. It was easy to believe that they were real people mixed up in Susan's disappearance. The plot was fresh and original. The way the author wrote it was very perceptive and engaging that I felt like I was working the story alongside McKenna and trying to figure out what really happened. Like any good mystery or thriller novel, the plot had several twists and turns that I didn't see coming - which only made me more determined to figure out the truth. I was reading as fast as I could to see what was going to happen next. The writing was phenomenal with a fast pace, believable dialogue, and effortless flow. Although there are several story lines happening at once throughout the novel, I never felt confused between them and they only deepened the intrigue that the author created. This is definitely a novel that mystery and thriller fans will want to dive into - if they haven't done already. The author proves herself to have enormous talent and ingenuity in the thriller genre and I'm eagerly awaiting her next release. Highly recommended for fans of mysteries, thrillers, and suspense novels!

Disclosure: I received a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.

posted by StephWard on June 6, 2013

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Most Helpful Critical Review

5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

Unlikable Protagonist

Love this author; really disliked this book. The plot was a mishmash of too many storylines. McKenna Jordan may be one of the most dislikable heroines to be the lead in a book. She changes emotions in nanoseconds. Example: She loves and trusts her husband more than ...
Love this author; really disliked this book. The plot was a mishmash of too many storylines. McKenna Jordan may be one of the most dislikable heroines to be the lead in a book. She changes emotions in nanoseconds. Example: She loves and trusts her husband more than life itself and she knows him implicitly. She could talk about anything. Wait. The next second she is sleeping at a friend's because her husband may not be the man she thought he was. Well, you idiot. then talk to him about your questions. She has to be right about EVERYTHING. She interferes constantly and tells people how she thinks they should run their lives. This author is usually so consistent in her writing but this book is a mess of convenience. Characters change their character to fit the plotline. OMW, I kept reading hoping this story would even. Never did.

posted by MHP5 on June 14, 2013

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 14, 2013

    Unlikable Protagonist

    Love this author; really disliked this book. The plot was a mishmash of too many storylines. McKenna Jordan may be one of the most dislikable heroines to be the lead in a book. She changes emotions in nanoseconds. Example: She loves and trusts her husband more than life itself and she knows him implicitly. She could talk about anything. Wait. The next second she is sleeping at a friend's because her husband may not be the man she thought he was. Well, you idiot. then talk to him about your questions. She has to be right about EVERYTHING. She interferes constantly and tells people how she thinks they should run their lives. This author is usually so consistent in her writing but this book is a mess of convenience. Characters change their character to fit the plotline. OMW, I kept reading hoping this story would even. Never did.

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted June 6, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    4.5 Stars 'If You Were Here' is a phenomenal new mystery/thrill

    4.5 Stars

    'If You Were Here' is a phenomenal new mystery/thriller novel by bestselling author Alafair Burke. It follows leading lady McKenna Wright - who is a journalist for a magazine - as she looks into a story about an unknown woman who rescued a teenage boy from the subway tracks right before he was to be hit by a train. McKenna watches footage of the event and is surprised when the mysterious woman strongly resembles her friend Susan, who has been missing for the past decade. Now McKenna is determined to find the truth about the woman in the video and what really happened to Susan all those years ago. She has no idea how far - or how close - her investigation is about to lead her.

    This was a magnificently written thriller novel that had me captivated from the first paragraph. There are lots of story lines happening at once throughout the book, so there are several smaller plots and mysteries that the reader has to keep up with, which only makes it harder to put down. McKenna is an awesome main character. She's a strong, intelligent, and capable journalist who works hard and is determined to discover the truth at all costs. I found her easy to identify with and immediately loved her as the heroine. The other characters were all well written, even the ones that barely made an appearance in the story, so much so that they all left a distinct impression on me as I read about them. It was easy to believe that they were real people mixed up in Susan's disappearance. The plot was fresh and original. The way the author wrote it was very perceptive and engaging that I felt like I was working the story alongside McKenna and trying to figure out what really happened. Like any good mystery or thriller novel, the plot had several twists and turns that I didn't see coming - which only made me more determined to figure out the truth. I was reading as fast as I could to see what was going to happen next. The writing was phenomenal with a fast pace, believable dialogue, and effortless flow. Although there are several story lines happening at once throughout the novel, I never felt confused between them and they only deepened the intrigue that the author created. This is definitely a novel that mystery and thriller fans will want to dive into - if they haven't done already. The author proves herself to have enormous talent and ingenuity in the thriller genre and I'm eagerly awaiting her next release. Highly recommended for fans of mysteries, thrillers, and suspense novels!

    Disclosure: I received a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted July 30, 2013

    Worth the read!

    I really enjoyed this book. As a journalist myself, I was intrigued by the story, with the added bonus that it centers on New York City. I really liked the writing style; I found myself flying through the pages. The twists and turns of the plot were unexpected and engaging, but they did get complicated and, honestly, a little too twisted for me to follow along with, and I felt like the ending was a little implausible. That said, it was still an enjoyable, fast-paced read. Finished it in less than a week!

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 16, 2013

    I Also Recommend:

    I really enjoyed this book. The pace moves fast and the story we

    I really enjoyed this book. The pace moves fast and the story weaves in creative ways. I had a hard time putting it down. Two thumbs up.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 30, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    If You Were Here by Alafair Burke is a fic­tional mys­tery tak­i

    If You Were Here by Alafair Burke is a fic­tional mys­tery tak­ing place in New York City. Ms. Burke is a best-selling author, for­mer pros­e­cu­tor and a teacher of crim­i­nal law.

    Jour­nal­ist McKenna Wright is writ­ing a fluff piece when she thinks she saw an old friend who dis­ap­peared ten years ago with­out a trace. Using her con­nec­tions as a for­mer pros­e­cu­tor and her investigator’s instincts, McKenna pur­sues the mat­ter in a search across New York City and finds long buried, dark secrets of those she loves the most.

    I don’t know what to think about If You Were Here by Alafair Burke. On one hand this was a well writ­ten, fast paced novel, on the other the plot was con­vo­luted. While I appre­ci­ate intri­cate sto­ry­lines, this one just seemed to be made out of sep­a­rate puz­zles which are some­what forced together.

    At first I thought this would be a quick read, but I soon dis­cov­ered that to keep track of the sto­ry­line I had to read care­fully because an off the wall com­ment could be the next be clue (as is some­times in real life). The nar­ra­tive had me guess­ing until the end which was sur­pris­ing but some­how anti-climatic.

    To me the story seemed far­fetched to the point where it was get­ting con­vo­luted. While I liked the fact that Ms. Burke drew on life-like events like the com­ments described in the pre­vi­ous para­graph, the whole plot was over the top and the char­ac­ters lacked depth to make it more believ­able. The pro­tag­o­nist, McKenna, is a smart, strong woman but the author keeps bring­ing up her past career as a lawyer every few pages as if to remind the reader that McKenna is a … smart, strong woman.

    Dis­claimer: I got this book for f
    Over­all the novel was not a bad sum­mer read, I’d cer­tainly rec­om­mend it if you like mys­ter­ies and are going on a vaca­tion soon. I did like the way the book is writ­ten and will cer­tainly pick up a dif­fer­ent book by the author if I get a chance.Dis­claimer: I got this book for free
    Dis­claimer: I got this book for f

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 31, 2013

    Good read

    After reading all of her father's books I could some of his style. All in all I liked the book and would recommend this book.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 3, 2013

    Great read!

    I couldn't put this book down till I found out what happened at the end!

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 20, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    Alafair Burke is the author of two wonderful series featuring re

    Alafair Burke is the author of two wonderful series featuring recurring characters Samantha Kincaid, a lawyer and Detective Ellie Hatcher. In her latest book If You Were Here (a stand alone) she brings us another great protagonist - and another fantastic book for some hot summer reading.

    McKenna Jordan is a journalist for a NYC magazine. This is a second career for McKenna. She was an Assistant District Attorney for the city, but she resigned in disgrace after badly fumbling her first big case.

    Looking for her next story for the magazine, McKenna decides to follow up on a report of a woman rescuing a young man from certain death on the subway tracks; then disappearing. Bystander cell phone footage is blurry, but McKenna is sure the woman is her old friend Susan - who disappeared ten years ago. Her husband Patrick went to school with Susan and he's equally sure it can't be her.

    "She watched the video one more time. There was no way to be certain, but somehow the woman in the video looked more like Susan with every viewing. If Susan was still alive, where had she been all this time? Why did she leave? Why didn't she tell anyone? And why was she back now?

    Hooked! Oh yes, I do love this kind of book. And Burke takes it to a new level with If You Were Here. I loved the slow peeling back of layers as McKenna revisits the disappearance of Susan, the case that cost her her ADA career - and her relationship with her husband. We're along for the ride with McKenna chasing leads and wondering who is telling the truth. I really enjoyed McKenna as a character - she's dogged and determined, but not perfect.

    Burke's plotting was complex and intricately carved from seemingly disparate puzzle pieces just waiting to be clicked into place. Read carefully - ostensibly innocuous comments end up being subtly inserted clues to the final answer. And that final answer was nowhere near where I thought the book would go. Burke kept me guessing and kept me engaged from first page to last. This one's on my hot summer reads list. If you haven't read Alafair Burke yet - what are you waiting for?!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 18, 2013

    Check out the full review at Kritters Ramblings A woman goes mi

    Check out the full review at Kritters Ramblings

    A woman goes missing for 10 years and on the anniversary of the collapse of a young ADA's career, the world is turned upside down and it takes the entire of the novel to find the real truth to the whole story.  From the beginning, I as the reader wanted to know the real story behind how McKenna a former DA and now journalist fell from grace.  At the same time, I was hoping for Susan to reappear to put all the puzzle pieces together.  On both fronts, I was not disappointed!  

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 5, 2013

    Thrilling ! After reading the synopsis, I expected to follow th

    Thrilling !

    After reading the synopsis, I expected to follow the story of a superhero. A woman worthy of appearing in X-Men, who managed to save a boy from a fall on the metro, before disappearing in the wildness of New York. 
    Imagine, what was my surprise to come across an exciting thriller written as an investigative inquiry...with nothing supernatural but however an exciting manhunt.

    The reader follows a former prosecutor-turned journalist, McKenna. She made ¿¿headlines, when she lost her job in pinpointing wrongly a cop in a rather complicated case. In parallel to her professional life getting upside down ten years earlier, her best friend from college, Susan who had mysteriously disappeared one day. 
    Susan, the same friend who introduced her to her husband, Patrick, who had a similar military background by both going to West Point.
    Ten years have passed and the two cases resurface. Coincidence or not? When corpses begin to appear and evidences to disapear, McKenna feels the track to dig for answers. But asking too many questions is never a good idea ...

    Do we really know anyone? Do you think that the self-image reflected by someone and its real personality are the same one? Everyone keeps secrets to protect themselves and the ones they love... How huge are yours?

    Beautifully written, this novel brings to suspect all the protagonists to hide something linking the two cases. Then the reader speculates. Twists after twists, the author keeps you in suspense thanks to the tenacity of McKenna and plausibility of details and facts.
    Captivating and brilliant, this thriller that made ¿¿me turn the pages without ever suspecting the end.

    A beautiful suspenseful story that will make your brain run wild. 

    Lucie
    newbooksonmyselves.blogspot.fr

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 4, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    In her ninth novel, and second standalone, Alafair Burke introdu

    In her ninth novel, and second standalone, Alafair Burke introduces McKenna Jordan, a writer for the fictitious NYC Magazine. Before her marriage five years ago, she was McKenna Wright, who had spent four years as an Assistant District Attorney in Manhattan, a job she lost in the aftermath of a police officer’s shooting of a 19-year-old youth, there being a question as to whether or not the boy had been unarmed, the gun found nearby planted. McKenna’s zealous investigation into that incident, accusing the officer of homicide and perjury, ultimately caused her disgrace and ended her prosecutorial career. This was soon followed by another, only slightly less traumatic event, when one of her best friends, beautiful West Point grad [and daughter of a two-star general] Susan Hauptmann, disappeared without a trace.

    Now, all these years later, a cell-phone photo comes into McKenna’s hands showing a mysterious Superwoman, a female crime victim who had plucked her attacker’s body from the subway tracks to safety, who McKenna believes is that same friend, who she had become convinced was long dead. Susan, an athletic 32 years old who had been deployed in the Middle East prior to the time of her disappearance, could have easily been capable of the feat in the subway station.

    There ensue a series of bizarre and seemingly unrelated incidents that this reader never saw coming, including but not limited to a mysterious private operative [hitman? private detective? something else altogether?], a dead cop, someone hacking into and forging e-mails, and no clue as to who is pulling the strings. The author somehow manages to tie them all up in a relentlessly intriguing plot.

    Another well-written book by this author [who gives a tip-of-the-hat, without needing to name his completely recognizable protagonist, to Lee Child, which I loved], and recommended.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 27, 2014

    Disappointing compared to her earlier novels

    I Was disappointed int his book, I did not feel that it is one her better novels. In my opinion ti was somewhat disjointed as we follow our heroine as an attorney to a journalist in trying to locate her friend who disappeared ten years earlier. A brief spotting in a cell phone puts her on the trail of her whereabouts and her activities over the previous decade. The action takes place in and about New York City where her earlier works were in the Pacific Northwest.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 15, 2013

    Great Mystery

    This is the first time in a long time that I stumbled on a new-to-me author and fell in love with the writing and story. This is a gripping mystery that you will not be able to put down. Unlike any story I have previously read and I am a book worm!

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 6, 2013

    Blarg....

    Whatever... <br> ... Bye. <p> ~Person

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 3, 2013

    I have a problem

    My name is Cardinal. I have a twin brother who blames God for everything. What should I do?

    0 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 13, 2013

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 5, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted August 14, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted June 30, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted September 19, 2013

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