Never Tell (Ellie Hatcher Series #4)

( 27 )

Overview

Even a perfect family has its secrets.

Sixteen-year-old Julia Whitmire appeared to have every-thing: 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, 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 drugs ...

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Never Tell (Ellie Hatcher Series #4)

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Overview

Even a perfect family has its secrets.

Sixteen-year-old Julia Whitmire appeared to have every-thing: 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, 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 drugs ran rampant. And a search of Julia's computer reveals that she was engaged in a dangerous game of cyberbullying.

NYPD detective Ellie Hatcher is convinced the case is a suicide, but 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. And 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.

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Editorial Reviews

The Washington Post
Burke has a good eye for the many faces of New York…[Her] story is complex, but her pace is fast, her prose is crisp and her duplicitous characters ring true in the Darwinian world she creates. Her descriptions are sharp, too…
—Patrick Anderson
Publishers Weekly
Near the start of Burke’s excellent fourth novel of suspense featuring NYPD Det. Ellie Hatcher (after 2010’s 212), 16-year-old Julia Whitmire, the daughter of legendary music producer Bill Whitmire, is found dead in the bathtub on the top floor of her family’s West Village townhouse with her wrists slashed. Ellie assumes that the Whitmire parents’ social clout is the reason why she and her partner, J.J. Rogan, must investigate an apparent suicide as a potential murder. At Casden, Julia’s elite prep school, they discover a rampant subculture of prescription drug abuse and intense academic pressure. Julia’s friend, Ramona Langston, also points them in the direction of several homeless youths she and Julia befriended over the past year, particularly Casey Heinz, who has a crush on Ramona and keys to the Whitmires’ residence. Ellie becomes less convinced that Julia killed herself as details emerge of a rape survivor blog linked to the case and threats against its anonymous author. The meticulous plotting, coupled with Ellie’s complicated evolution as a heroine, make this Burke’s strongest work to date. 6-city author tour. Agent: Philip Spitzer, the Philip Spitzer Literary Agency. (June)
Entertainment Weekly
“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.”
New York Journal of Books
“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.”
The Sun Newspaper
“Author Alafair Burke takes her mystery fans on another wild ride in Never Tell.”
Suspense Magazine
Never Tell is a great read. Alafair Burke writes a riveting story with a strong female protagonist.”
Portland Mercury
“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.”
The Examiner
“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.”
Jeff Ayers
“[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.”
Patrick Anderson
“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.”
Joe Hartlaub
“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.”
Michele Leber
“One of Burke’s trademarks is connecting disparate plotlines, which she does here in spades….Skillfully structured…”
Stacy Alesi
“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.”
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780061999178
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 5/14/2013
  • Series: Ellie Hatcher Series , #4
  • Pages: 365
  • Sales rank: 151,622
  • Product dimensions: 5.31 (w) x 8.00 (h) x 0.86 (d)

Meet the Author

Alafair Burke
Alafair Burke is the bestselling author of seven previous novels, including the standalone Long Gone and the Ellie Hatcher series: 212, Angel’s Tip, and Dead Connection. A former prosecutor, she now teaches criminal law and lives in Manhattan.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 27 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(13)

4 Star

(8)

3 Star

(4)

2 Star

(1)

1 Star

(1)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 27 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 9, 2014

    Must read

    This is such a great read for those who like suspense & think you have the story figured out but then it shifts gears; i can not put this book down without wondering who did it & why

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted June 17, 2013

    Never Tell is a complicated and intriguing tale where nothing is

    Never Tell is a complicated and intriguing tale where nothing is as it seems.  Detective Ellie Hatcher is called to the scene of an apparent suicide.  The victim is sixteen year-old Julia Whitmore, daughter of a Rock Star and a student at an exclusive prep school.  Julia's parents are convinced that she would never attempt suicide, while Ellie--all to familiar with the denial of a family in pain--prepares to move on.  She's soon called back in when one detail stands out, requiring closure.  What Ellie assumes will be an open and shut case becomes increasingly complex when the mother of Julia's best friend begins receiving threats on her personal blog.  Ellie believes that the incidents are connected and that her initial assumptions might just be wrong.




    Oh what a refreshing read!  At its heart this is an intriguing mystery with enough unanswered questions to keep me guessing from beginning to end.  While the suicide/murder question didn't excite me, the intricate web that resulted from it drew me in from beginning to end.  Instead of trying to solve the mystery, I was quite content in sitting back and enjoying the ride.  I loved that the mystery wasn't solved all at once in a quick wrap-up at the end. It was solved bit by bit with surprises at every turn of the page.  I was impressed with the character development where we learn the histories of the characters. Because of this I gained an interesting perspective on their lives and decisions.  People are not who they seem. 




    Overall, I found this to be a great mystery with a realistic feel and though-provoking characters.  Definitely stands apart from many in the genre.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 18, 2013

    Suspenseful

    Got this book from the library. Had never heard of this author. Glad I took the chance. I had a hard time putting it down. A very good read. I will be reading more from this author.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted June 26, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    NYPD detective Ellie Hatcher has been called to the scene of a m

    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!

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 25, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Ellie Hatcher and crew are back on the streets of New York City,

    Ellie Hatcher and crew are back on the streets of New York City, only Ellie isn't sure their latest callout is any more than what it appears to be; 16 year old Julia Whitmire has slashed her wrists and bled to death in the Manhattan residence where she lives sans parents. The suicide note says it all. But for the prominence of the family, the mother's insistence that Julia would "never do this", and her partner's discovery of an item that shouldn't be there, Ellie would be on to the next case. However, as Ellie and Rogan start digging, they find that not all is perfect in the Whitmire family, or in the families of Julia's friends. What seems to be a simple case turns out to be one of the most complex and frustrating Ellie has seen. Just when she thinks she sees the truth, something or someone comes along that gives lie to her conclusions. And, she's battling her own demons; memories of her father's death creep in and tempt her to make certain judgements that she needs to resist. And her current boyfriend wants to move their relationship to a new level.
    Alafair Burke draws her characters with a fine brush...from Julia to her best friend to the doorman at the best friend's apartment building there is no stinting on detail. She maintains the tension throughout, so that it is difficult to NOT turn the page and see what happens next. The ending is amazing as well as logical. All the details add up. Simply put, it works.
    More please!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 25, 2014

    Very Good Read

    Very much enjoyed this. Sevrral plot twist and a gotcha all the way to the end. I enjoyed 212 as well. Will go back and read the first in this series as well.
    Keep em coming Ms. BURKE!!!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 1, 2014

    How old is this author?

    Sounded like an interesting plot, but it read like a high school writing assignment.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 19, 2013

    Awful

    A careless, biased, utterly unsympathetic protagonist made this book entirely unreadable. Hey, it is not actually necessary to make the cops both unlikeable AND incompetent..

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted May 27, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    4.5 Stars 'Never Tell' is the fourth installment in the Ellie H

    4.5 Stars

    'Never Tell' is the fourth installment in the Ellie Hatcher series, but can be read as a standalone novel. It tells the story of Julia Whitmire, a popular rich girl from NYC who has apparently committed suicide. Ellie and her partner are assigned to the case when Julia's parents insist that their daughter was murdered. Soon the both Ellie and the reader are caught in a tangle of lies, deceipt, secrets, and teenage pressure. Ellie must put aside her own personal demons in order to get Julia the justice she deserves.

    This was a fantastically written mystery/thriller novel that had me completely hooked 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. Ellie is a great main character. She's a strong, intelligent, and capable detective who works hard and empathizes easily with the victims of the cases she works on. I found her easy to identify with and immediately liked her as the heroine. The other characters were well written, even the ones that barely made a ripple 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 this girl's death. The plot wasn't anything completely unique, but the way the author wrote it was very perceptive and engaging that I felt like I was working the case alongside Ellie and trying to figure out what really happened. Like any good thriller or mystery, the story had several twists and turns that I didn't see coming - which only made me more determined to figure out the truth and had me 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, as well as a series, that mystery and thriller fans will want to start reading - if they haven't done already. The author proves herself to be a major player in the genre and I'm eagerly awaiting her next release.

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

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted May 27, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    4.5 Stars 'Never Tell' is the fourth installment in the Ellie H

    4.5 Stars

    'Never Tell' is the fourth installment in the Ellie Hatcher series, but can be read as a standalone novel. It tells the story of Julia Whitmire, a popular rich girl from NYC who has apparently committed suicide. Ellie and her partner are assigned to the case when Julia's parents insist that their daughter was murdered. Soon the both Ellie and the reader are caught in a tangle of lies, deceipt, secrets, and teenage pressure. Ellie must put aside her own personal demons in order to get Julia the justice she deserves.

    This was a fantastically written mystery/thriller novel that had me completely hooked 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. Ellie is a great main character. She's a strong, intelligent, and capable detective who works hard and empathizes easily with the victims of the cases she works on. I found her easy to identify with and immediately liked her as the heroine. The other characters were well written, even the ones that barely made a ripple 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 this girl's death. The plot wasn't anything completely unique, but the way the author wrote it was very perceptive and engaging that I felt like I was working the case alongside Ellie and trying to figure out what really happened. Like any good thriller or mystery, the story had several twists and turns that I didn't see coming - which only made me more determined to figure out the truth and had me 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, as well as a series, that mystery and thriller fans will want to start reading - if they haven't done already. The author proves herself to be a major player in the genre and I'm eagerly awaiting her next release.

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

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted May 27, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    I only 'discovered' Alafair Burke a couple of years ago when I p

    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.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 18, 2013

    Pretty good

    I liked this book ok . Decent plot line. The story seemed to speed up and then slow down throughout. Must admit though that out of the ellie hatcher series, i liked this one the least. Still worth a read

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 30, 2012

    River

    This is the river... it is slow going. It also looks like slim....

    0 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 17, 2012

    Nursery

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 5, 2012

    Highly recommend

    Another good story by Alafair Burke. She keeps you on your toes.

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  • Posted July 24, 2012

    Love this series

    Love Alafair Burke and her Ellie Hatcher series.

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  • Posted May 17, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    WAKE UP GUYS

    This is a "PRE-ORDER" and I it has not been released yet ... soooooo I cannot write a review yet..

    0 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 10, 2014

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted December 3, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted April 15, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

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