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Never Tell    by Alafair Burke order for
Never Tell
by Alafair Burke
Order:  USA  Can
Harper, 2012 (2012)
Hardcover, e-Book

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* * *   Reviewed by Mary Ann Smyth

Wow! Another winner from crime writer Alafair Burke – Never Tell. Don't miss this one. A nail biter from first page to last.

In this fourth in the NYPD Detective Ellie Hatcher series, Ellie and her partner J.J. Rogan are called to the scene of a teenage suicide. The dead girl's mother insists that suicide was not the cause of her daughter's death. She must have been murdered!

Ellie and Rogan more or less blow off Mama but later realize there may be more to the death than they realized. Following correct police procedure, they interrogate the girl's friends and teachers and realize there is more here than they could ever have anticipated.

As the investigation continues, a blog by someone who had been sexually abused as a child moves onto the scene. The author of the blog is threatened. Rumors of drug tests mar the collection of information. Suspense continues to build as hidden secrets emerge to color the case.

The dénouement is a real surprise. The characters are not without flaws. Some of them could have been pulled from the pages of a text book for Psychology 101. A young, homeless transgender, a homosexual couple, parents who never read the books on good parenting, a mother who is not what she purports to be.

If nothing else, this exciting book should encourage parents to look more closely at their teenagers' lives. And maybe be a little less class conscience. Good reading. As are all of Burke's novels.

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