Never Tell: A Novel of Suspense – Alafair Burke
Published: 2012 Pages:368
Series: Ellie Hatcher, 4
Setting: New York
“Poor little rich girl.” (page 19)
NEVER TELL (2012) is NYPD detective Ellie Hatcher’s fourth appearance in the series that started with DEAD CONNECTION in 2007. I read ANGEL’S TIP (also called CITY OF FEAR in the UK) and enjoyed it but NEVER TELL was more of a mixed bag for me. I’ll start with the positive. The author’s strengths include drawing upon her professional experience as an attorney to give readers an inside look at courthouse politics and investigative strategy. Those are some of my favorite scenes. The author is really good at keeping up to date with social trends and pop culture. Her characters act like they inhabit the same universe that we do. Dialogue is another one of her strengths. These characters talk like real people talk. Ellie Hatcher is a strong, likable character and I enjoy the camaraderie she has with her partner, J.J. Rogan. Last but not least, there is a subtle but very nice romance.
The plot for NEVER TELL involves plenty of secrets and mingling with the Manhattan elite. The basic premise involves the death of a young teenage girl from Manhattan. Her death looks like a suicide but her mother insists that it isn’t. The police department sends out two homicide detectives – Ellie Hatcher and J.J. Rogan– at the parents request. Ellie makes a rush to judgment in deciding that this is an open and shut case and blows off the parents.
In fact she’s convinced that the scene is exactly what it is – a suicide. The victim’s father is a famous music producer. The family are apart of the NYC elite and are well connected. They make the necessary calls to force Ellie and her partner to re-work the case. The detectives learn all kinds of eye-opening information about teens who inhabit the world of the privileged class juxtaposed with teens who exist on the outskirts of society.