Monday, June 10, 2013

Review: If You Were Here by Alafair Burke

If You Were Here by Alafair Buke

Publisher: Harper 
Pages: 384 
Format: eARC 
Buy the Book: Amazon 

Goodreads:  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.

Kritters Thoughts:  A woman goes missing for 10 years and on the anniversary of the collapse of a young ADA's career, the world is turned upside down and it takes the entire of the novel to find the real truth to the whole story.  From the beginning, I as the reader wanted to know the real story behind how McKenna a former DA and now journalist fell from grace.  At the same time, I was hoping for Susan to reappear to put all the puzzle pieces together.  On both fronts, I was not disappointed!  

Set in the lively, New York City, this mystery goes through days and nights of tracking down clues that are years in the past.  McKenna has to put her faith in unlikely characters and I think that is what I loved most - her having to trust people that in the past have burned her or who haven't been completely honest.  The characters felt real, while the situation may have felt a little far fetched.  The intricacy of the mystery was hard to uncover and at moments I thought it had a little too much depth and too many players involved.  The build up was fantastic, but it took so much for the reader to understand the whole deal, it weighed down the end of the book a little bit.

My second Alafair Burke mystery and I am officially a fan and will promote Burke to any mystery reader and maybe even the skeptics!  I think with real characters and high stakes, this book definitely had some great drama and many readers could enjoy it.

Rating: definitely a good read, but can't read two in a row

Ebook 2013 Challenge: 38 out of 50

Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one copy of this book free of charge from TLC Book Tours.  I was not required to write a positive review in exchange for receipt of the book; rather, the opinions expressed in this review are my own.


  1. This sounds like it has a very Cold Case/Criminal Minds feel to it and I love that kind of stuff. Thanks for the recommendation.

  2. Looks like you're the newest ambassador for Burke's books!

    I'm glad you enjoyed this one. Thanks for being on the tour! I'm featuring your review on TLC's Facebook page today.


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