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.
©2012 Alafair Burke (P)2012 Brilliance Audio, Inc.
This is the fourth in the police Detective Ellie Hatcher series. Ellie and her partner are called to an apartment in New York City’s exclusive area. A 16-year-old girl, Julia, is found dead in the bathtub, her wrist slashed. Everyone, the paramedics, the patrol officers, and the detectives, all believe that it is a suicide. Julia’s parents insist it isn’t suicide and must be murder and continue to be in the way of the police, but they are successful in keeping the investigation going. Ellie is introduced to a world of precocious and privileged teens, as well as a world involving homeless teens from the West Village. Connected in some way to Julia’s suicide or possible murder is a blog being written by an anonymous blogger who is telling all about the rape and molestation she suffered 20 years previously as a child. But someone starts leaving comments on her web site including real threats of danger. It’s a good book, well written as usual.
I am an avid eclectic reader.
The writing ability of Alafair Burke shine through in this book. Ellie Hatcher appears to be off her game in this story. She fails to call what looks like a suicide a murder and also most allows innocent people be convicted but in the end she is back on her game and solves the problems. This story shows the big gulf between rich teenager and poor teenagers lives and ethics. The story has three stories running at the same time but Burke manages to balance them all without making the reader feel disjointed. If you enjoy a good murder mystery you will enjoy this book. Eliza Foss does a good job narrating the story.
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