Never Tell by Alafair Burke
Series: Ellie Hatcher #4
Genre: Mystery, Thriller, Mystery Suspense
Pages: 368 (Hardback)
Source: TLC Book Tours
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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.
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.