Title: Never Tell
Author: Alafair Burke
Publisher: Harper Collins
Series: Ellie Hatcher
About Never Tell:
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.
I first read a book by Alafair Burke when I reviewed Angel’s Tip a few months ago. I loved the book for its suspense and surprising plot, so I jumped at the chance to read something from her again. I was not disappointed. The plot is twisted, interconnected, and interesting. The story moves fast and hooks you from the beginning. While being dark in topic, the thought of what is right and wrong is a theme that comes to mind throughout the book. A line I loved (I will paraphrase, not quote) is “Nothing is black or white, but somethings can be both black and white. Right and wrong all at the same time.” Its an interesting thought that runs through my mind.
This book is part of a series, but not having read the others, I was not left out or confused at any point. You don’t need to have read the series in its entirety to enjoy this book.
* If this book were a movie, it would be rated 14A for language and adult topics.