Genre: Mystery / Thriller
Length: 368 pages
First Published: 2012
I really enjoyed this book. I didn't really think I was going to be a fan of Alafair Burke, but she's really a phenomenal mystery thriller writer. I cannot believe I have not heard about her until more recently. She's really at the type of my list for favorite mystery writers. First, here is what the book is about.
"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." (GoodReads)
This book deals with all kinds of topics: wealth, power, deceit, social classes and their clashes, drug abuse, prep school culture, cyber bullying, transgender issues, homiced and suicide. It's an all and everything type of mystery novel.
There is nothing more appealing than a book trying to emphasize that nothing is as everything appears to be. And then you have the controversial topic of prescription abuse and the use of antidepressants being brought to the surface. ADHD medication is also mention and runs rampant among the students of this book. This is a perfect mystery thriller bringing to life some of our most common epidemics in our society.
I love that Burke also talks about the topic of cyber bullying, in this book. We don't really talk about it anymore, but it's still prominent in our world. This mystery novel definitely makes you think about it whether you want to or not.
Ok, not to mention, and it's one of the reasons I love this book, Alafair brings to life teenagers from Manhattan's most privileged families. How many of us really knows what goes on with privileged families, let alone some of them originating from one of the biggest and more important cities of our country. I loved reading about them. I think you will, too.
Overall, I really enjoyed reading this book. I would recommend this mystery thriller to lovers of mysteries or thrillers, although it's more of a mystery than a thriller. One of the key mysteries is the secrets these students keep. The theme of which secrets should never be told is one of the key elements of this book.