June 6, 2013

If You Were Here Blog Tour: Review

If You Were Here
Author: Alafair Burke
Genre: Mystery/Thriller/Suspense
Release Date: June 4, 2013
Publisher: Harper


Magazine journalist McKenna Wright is chasing the latest urban folktale-the story of an unidentified woman who heroically pulled a teenaged boy from the subway tracks, seconds before an oncoming train. When McKenna locates a short video snippet that purportedly captures part of the incident, she thinks she has an edge on the competition scrambling to identify the mystery heroine.

She is shocked to discover that the woman in the video bears a strong resemblance to Susan Hauptmann, a close friend who disappeared without a trace a decade earlier. Investigating her disappearance, the NYPD concluded that the nomadic Susan-forced by her father into an early military life, floundering as an adult for a fixed identity-simply left town to start over again somewhere else.

But McKenna has always believed the truth went deeper than the police investigation ever reached, and sees Susan's resurfacing as a sign that she wants to be found. Yet when she shares the image with her husband, Patrick, who was Susan's classmate at West Point, he isn't convinced.

What would have been a short-lived metro story sends McKenna on a dangerous search for the missing woman, a twisting journey through New York City that will force her to unearth long-buried truths much closer to home-to her own husband, who seems to know much more about Susan than McKenna could have ever imagined...

If You Were Here is a phenomenal new mystery/thriller novel by bestselling author Alafair Burke. It follows leading lady McKenna Wright - who is a journalist for a magazine - as she looks into a story about an unknown woman who rescued a teenage boy from the subway tracks right before he was to be hit by a train. McKenna watches footage of the event and is surprised when the mysterious woman strongly resembles her friend Susan, who has been missing for the past decade. Now McKenna is determined to find the truth about the woman in the video and what really happened to Susan all those years ago. She has no idea how far - or how close - her investigation is about to lead her.

This was a magnificently written thriller novel that had me captivated from the first paragraph. There are lots of story lines happening at once throughout the book, so there are several smaller plots and mysteries that the reader has to keep up with, which only makes it harder to put down. McKenna is an awesome main character. She's a strong, intelligent, and capable journalist who works hard and is determined to discover the truth at all costs. I found her easy to identify with and immediately loved her as the heroine. The other characters were all well written, even the ones that barely made an appearance in the story, so much so that they all left a distinct impression on me as I read about them. It was easy to believe that they were real people mixed up in Susan's disappearance. The plot was fresh and original. The way the author wrote it was very perceptive and engaging that I felt like I was working the story alongside McKenna and trying to figure out what really happened. Like any good mystery or thriller novel, the plot had several twists and turns that I didn't see coming - which only made me more determined to figure out the truth. I was reading as fast as I could to see what was going to happen next. The writing was phenomenal with a fast pace, believable dialogue, and effortless flow. Although there are several story lines happening at once throughout the novel, I never felt confused between them and they only deepened the intrigue that the author created. This is definitely a novel that mystery and thriller fans will want to dive into - if they haven't done already. The author proves herself to have enormous talent and ingenuity in the thriller genre and I'm eagerly awaiting her next release. Highly recommended for fans of mysteries, thrillers, and suspense novels!

Alafair Burke is the author of "two power house series" (Sun-Sentinel) that have earned her a reputation for creating strong, believable, and eminently likable female characters, such as NYPD Detective Ellie Hatcher and Portland Deputy District Attorney Samantha Kincaid. Alafair's novels grow out of her experience as a prosecutor in America's police precincts and criminal courtrooms, and have been featured by The Today Show, People Magazine, The New York Times, MSNBC, The Washington Post, USA Today, and The Chicago Sun-Times. According to Entertainment Weekly, Alafair "is a terrific web spinner" who "knows when and how to drop clues to keep readers at her mercy."

A graduate of Stanford Law School and a former Deputy District Attorney in Portland, Oregon, Alafair is now a Professor of Law at Hofstra Law School, where she teaches criminal law and procedure. Her books have been translated into 12 languages.

Alafair's latest thriller, Long Gone, has been praised by some of the world's most respected crime writers: Michael Connelly, Dennis Lehane, Karin Slaughter, Lisa Scottoline, Lisa Unger, and Nelson DeMille.

Learn more about Alafair at www.alafairburke.com.

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  1. I just met Burke at BEA and she is so AWESOME! I cant wait to read this! So glad you enjoyed it!

  2. I love it when a book grabs me from the start and doesn't let go - it's then that I know I'm in for a great ride!

    Thanks for being on the tour.