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Never Tell: A Novel of Suspense (Ellie…
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Never Tell: A Novel of Suspense (Ellie Hatcher) (edition 2012)

by Alafair Burke

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1461281,994 (3.6)5
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Title:Never Tell: A Novel of Suspense (Ellie Hatcher)
Authors:Alafair Burke
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Tags:adult fiction, mystery

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Never Tell by Alafair Burke

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Showing 1-5 of 12 (next | show all)
This was my first Burke experience, and it certainly wont be my last.

While I can't share too much about my reading experience as it spoils the plot, I can tell you this was my first Ellie Hatcher mystery and in the beginning I was afraid I would miss some background or character connection, but my likeness for Ellie was almost immediate and I never had a hard time catching up with her life or finding a way to relate to her. Not only does Burke offer a fantastic book straight out of an SVU (only much better) episode, she also offers real life drama, romance and everyday scenarios. I enjoyed that even though the book was riddled with dark topics she broke it up with humor, laughter and some sad moments, making the book a complete package. Nothing screams thrilling mystery better than a story that leaves you guessing at every turn. I loved the spins Burke created in the story to twist my thoughts into mini freak outs, meaning: when I thought I had it figured out, a page later my idea would get blown to bits.

What I found most impressive about this complicated layered upon layered story was how well developed each character was written. Not once did I have a problem transitioning or getting lost inside each point of view and every issue thrown at me as the reader. Never did I lose interest or stop guessing until the very end. It was truly a great reading experience and one that many will have a blast taking.

Highly recommended to readers who love intense murder mysteries and crime thrillers. ( )
  Tinasbookreviews | Jul 30, 2013 |
Short and Sweet Summary

A mega-rich student from the elite Casden School in New York is dead. The evidence points to suicide, but her mother demands an investigation...and she gets one via her husband's string pulling in the more money than anybody needs social network of New York City. Ellie and Rogan are called in on the case, and Ellie's not happy about it. She'd like to just call it what it is and move on. Channeling leftover parental issues about her own father's death, Ellie has to repeatedly push her emotions aside in order to pull this very tangled web apart.

What I Liked

Ellie Hatcher - Ellie is smart, gritty, flawed, and passionate about her work and who she is in contrast with what society expects of women, especially women in her profession. The inside look at police work as well as that of the law and how the two professions work together (or not) to solve crimes is always very interesting to me.

Technology, Internet, Blogs...police work...Burke uses up to date issues and investigative procedures in her stories and that may be the most refreshing thing about her writing. For example, the suicide note allegedly left by a teenager who probably wrote very little, if anything down on a piece of paper in her entire life..the need for handwriting experts is now completely useless. IT departments and techie gurus are now vitally important parts of investigative teams...where postings take place, IP addresses, blog owners, time frames, computer histories, etc. It's really mind blowing when you look at the technological issues of police work in today's social media culture.

Psychology, mental disorders of children and adolescents, medications, and big business associated with this ever developing problem. Again, Burke keeps her focus on up to date issues...this time over-medicated kids and the high stakes, high pressured world of elite high schools and colleges. While dealing with the crimes, Burke also takes the time to educate the reader on both sides of this problem, those who abuse the system and those who truly need help and slip through the cracks due to the aforementioned system abuse.

I've read 3 of Burke's books, and so far, they have been incredibly well thought out and put together layer by layer. There is generally no one victim and no one bad guy...and it is very difficult to figure out what's going on until the very end. I'm very bad about looking at the ending of books before I get there, but with Burke, you might as well not even do that. The answers are too tightly wrapped up in events to be able to find the answer in one or two sentences. That's great mystery/thriller writing to me :)

What I Didn't Like

I like Max...and I can really see this relationship working, but Max, please don't start pushing Ellie. K?

There were almost too many characters for me...there were leads and then there were leads that led nowhere...of course, this frustration could very well be exactly what Burke wanted her readers to experience bc I'm sure that type of distraction, whether it's routine distraction or "do-gooders," is something real-life investigators have to fight constantly.

Overall Recommendation

If you've read the other Ellie Hatcher books, don't miss this one...settle yourself in for some brainwork as well. If you haven't read Ellie Hatcher but like a strong female, law enforcement protagonist, start with the first book, Dead Connection. I do think to understand Ellie that the reader needs to know her story and how it unfolds throughout her adult life. ( )
  epkwrsmith | Jun 19, 2013 |
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. ( )
  Twink | May 27, 2013 |
I won this from the Goodreads First Reads Giveaway.

Really enjoyed this book. I liked it so much that I am adding this author to my "list" so I'll be sure to check out some of her other novels. ( )
  Barb_H | Apr 2, 2013 |
Everyone loves Jodi Picolut but after two of her books had such erroneous medical management as important to her stories, I had to stop reading her. There should be better editing. This book was similar in that one of the sub plots about pharmaceutical research was just so far from reality that I couldn't get past this criticism. I realize we are talking fiction here, but the way the author portrayed this aspect of one of the character's actions was just plain stupid (and to someone who does research for a living, insulting). Please, what are editors paid to do? ( )
  zoomball | Dec 20, 2012 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0061999164, Hardcover)

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.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:27:42 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

While investigating the suicide of sixteen-year-old Julia Whitmire, whose famous parents believe that she was murdered, NYPD Detective Ellie Hatcher discovers that Julia was engaged in a dangerous game of cyberbullying against an unlikely victim.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 2 descriptions

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