Kathleen Minde's Reviews > Long Gone

Long Gone by Alafair Burke
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Apr 23, 12

bookshelves: awesome-woman-author, detective-series
Read from April 20 to 23, 2012

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Kathleen Minde NY Police Detective Ellie Hatcher, ten years after escaping her impoverished life in Kansas, finds herself confronted by the foreign world of the extremely wealthy and privileged when she is called in to investigate what appears to be a teenage suicide. No stranger to suicide, Hatcher thinks the evidence is a slam dunk and that the parents are refusing to accept the obvious. Despite the fact they barely knew their unsupervised sixteen year-old daughter and practiced satellite parenting at it's extreme, they are convinced their daughter would never kill herself, she was murdered. The family is well-connected and Hatcher and her partner, J.J. Rogen, are consequently pressured by their lieutenant to dig deeper. And as the author, Alafair Burke, writes in her latest novel Never Tell, nothing is black and white. And everyone has a past, with secrets.

Hatcher and her partner discover in this alien social strata over-privileged teenagers with drug problems, an exclusive prep school, marital infidelity, unethical business relationships, a blog on sexual abuse, a stalker, and a homeless transgender friend of the deceased. Despite her conclusion that the poor little rich girl slit her wrists, Hatcher is starting to connect these seemingly related elements together, testing her certainty. She finds she is also testing her long-term relationship with ADA Donovan with her stubborn opinions concerning family and the past. Again, nothing is or should be black and white.

While the story is fascinating with it's many, many twists, believable characters and depressing surprise ending, I did not find myself as engaged as I was with her previous novels like Angel's Tip or Missing Justice (from the Samantha Kincaid series) or her stand alone novel, Long Gone. The tension she was able to create in those novels is not present in Never Tell. It's thought-provoking when dealing with arrogant assumptions, rich versus poor, and the sad repercussions of sexual abuse. And I truly felt for some of the characters. But the dialogue does not possess the wit or sparkle from those earlier novels. And there are a couple of elements at the end that felt too cheesy, but only a couple because I hate nitpicking.

I have read all of Alafair Burke's books and am a big fan of hers, but this book, though well-written, is just not her best and that's why I gave it 3.5 stars. I will always be a fan and I am waiting for her next book.


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