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If You Were Here, a book

A thriller by Alafair Burke

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A Thriller Bereft of Thrills

  • Apr 30, 2013

McKenna never knew what happened to her friend Susan Hauptmann, who had disappeared ten years prior.  She is presented a video of a woman rescuing a teen that had fallen on the subway tracks.  McKenna is sure that the woman in the video is Susan.  When she does some investigating, both the video she saw and the actual subway camera videos are unexplainably deleted.

McKenna had gotten her life in order after she had been kicked off her position as an assistant district attorney for presented evidence that a cop may have planted a gun on suspect.  She had changed careers and become a successful magazine writer.  Now when she starts probing into Susan again, it seems that there is some tie-in to the incident with the gun planting.  There is also someone looking into events that could stir up the past and "cleaning" them up.

Then McKenna starts fearing that her husband Patrick may be her enemy and some of the people she starts looking at start to die.

I really tried to like this book but it was very hard.  At times it was hard to follow and if I put the book down for any length of time I needed to go back and reread some parts because events and details that I had previously read wouldn't stick in my mind.  I also felt that McKenna would try to tie things together based on no logical reason at times.

I had some problems with how the person known as the "cleaner" was able to get people to do very illegal things for a relatively small bribes.  I struggled to finish this book and not once did I feel any real tension that is the necessary ingredient for a good thriller.  I grudgingly gave this book barely three stars.

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May 01, 2013
you know I have come across several books with a great concept, and then, the flow of the read was just annoying, that I almost or just gave up.
May 01, 2013
William, you probably know some films like that? Sounds like an idea for a list?
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I first got on this blog to discuss my first passion which is books. Since I have gotten on I find that books are only a piece of this blog and I can discuss just about anything that comes to mind. It … more
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Magazine journalist McKenna Jordan is chasing the latest urban folktale—the story of an unidentified woman who heroically pulled a teenage boy from the subway tracks seconds before the arrival of an oncoming train. When McKenna locates a video snippet that purportedly captures the incident, she thinks she has an edge on the competition scrambling to identify the mystery heroine.

McKenna is shocked to discover that the woman in the video bears a strong resemblance to Susan Hauptmann, a close friend—and a classmate of her husband's at West Point—who vanished without a trace ten years earlier. 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 started over again somewhere else.

But McKenna has always believed that the truth went deeper than the police investigation ever reached and sees Susan's resurfacing as a sign that she wants to be found. What might have been a short-lived Metro story sends the former prosecutor turned reporter on a twisting search that leads across New York City—and to dark secrets buried dangerously close to home. . . .

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