Never Tell (Ellie Hatcher Series #4)

Never Tell (Ellie Hatcher Series #4)

4.1 29
by Alafair Burke
     
 

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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

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Overview

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.

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Editorial Reviews

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.”
Kirkus Reviews
Burke (Long Gone, 2011, etc.) resurrects Ellie Hatcher, an NYPD homicide detective who followed in her father's footsteps. Ellie's father's death, which police claimed was at his own hand, makes the callout to a young girl's suicide even more difficult for Ellie. The girl's grieving mom is a socialite and the wife of a mover and shaker in the music industry, and she's pulled strings to get the homicide division on her daughter's case. Teenager Julia Whitmire, privileged and spoiled but left on her own by her self-involved parents, was found dead of a combination of drugs, alcohol and wrist-slashing in the tub of her bathroom. Everyone, from the EMTs on the scene to the medical examiner who responds to Ellie, writes it off as a clear-cut suicide. Julia even left a note that is undisputedly in her own hand. However, pressure from the bigwigs sends the increasingly impatient Ellie and her partner, Rogan, back to the crime scene to work the case as a murder. In the course of their investigation, Ellie and Rogan meet a motley group of street kids, the family of Julia's best friend, Ramona, and stumble onto a blog written by Ramona's mom, Adrienne, that centers around her own sexual abuse while she was a child. Burke keeps it real by having Ellie unconvinced that Julia's death was anything but a suicide, but her stubborn refusal to envision that the girl was murdered hinders, rather than helps, the probe. Ellie also suffers personal issues in that her boyfriend, an assistant district attorney, wants a little more out of the relationship, and Ellie remains afraid to take that step. In Ellie, Burke has built a likable, flawed heroine trying to leave the things that have haunted her behind and not succeeding very well. Burke's prose falls into an easy, natural rhythm when she enters Ellie Hatcher's world, and 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.
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

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780061999161
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
06/19/2012
Series:
Ellie Hatcher Series, #4
Pages:
368
Product dimensions:
6.84(w) x 9.08(h) x 1.22(d)

What People are saying about this

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.”
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.”
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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Meet the Author

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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