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June 18, 2013 / Leslie

Review and Giveaway: If You Were Here by Alafair Burke

If You Were Here by Alafair BurkeIf You Were Here
by Alafair Burke

Genre: Mystery/Thriller
Publisher: Harper
Publish Date: June 4, 2013
Format: Hardcover | 384 pages
Rating: 4½ of 5

From the back cover:

Chasing a hot story, magazine journalist McKenna Wright uncovers information that sends her back to the past, to the disappearance of a close friend — a classmate of her husband’s at West Point — who vanished without a trace a decade ago.

McKenna always believed the truth went deeper than the police investigation ever reached. To find answers, the former prosecutor turned reporter embarks on a twisting search that leads across New York City and into dark secrets buried dangerously close to home.

My Thoughts:

In this fast paced mystery/thriller Alafair Burke has created a complex, intriguing plot with multiple story lines and a cast of interesting characters. There were a lot of plot twists and the reader is sent careening in different directions more than a few times. Yes, the story line was complex but never so much that I couldn’t follow along although one of the plot twists was a little unbelievable and seemed to come out of nowhere — but looking back, there was a small hint and I didn’t catch it.

Our protagonist, McKenna Wright, is a strong but not always endearing character. In her obsessive quest to find the truth about what happened to her friend she can be a little too aggressive and often jumps to conclusions leading to bad decisions. This impatience caused her to lose her position as a prosecutor with the District Attorney’s Office and now she has been fired from the magazine. She is far from perfect, which only makes her more interesting.

Most of the story is told from McKenna’s point of view in short, action filled chapters. The back story is relayed in bits and pieces through a series of short flashbacks. As McKenna keeps digging for information, the suspense builds, the focus of her suspicions shift, and we don’t know who to trust. I thought I had the bad guy/gal figured out a few times only to be wrong as new information is uncovered. Eventually all the story lines come together but the reader is kept guessing until the end.

Overall an engaging mystery with a lot of plot twists that kept me wondering as I raced to the conclusion.

Giveaway Information

The giveaway is open to those 18 years of age or older with a mailing address in the US or Canada. To enter, leave a comment on or before June 30, 2013. For an extra entry tweet or blog the giveaway and leave the link in your comment. I will draw a random winner who will be contacted by email and have 48 hours to respond.

[Giveaway has ended]

Winner: JJT

Source: Review copy provided by TLC Tours
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Leave a Comment
  1. BermudaOnion / Jun 18 2013 2:53 pm

    I love plot twists – this sounds like a real page turner. No need to enter me.


  2. carlrscott / Jun 18 2013 3:28 pm

    This sounds great, I’d love to win a copy. Interesting characters, lots of action and plot twists, I think I’d really enjoy this book. Thanks for the giveaway.

    I tweeted a link for the extra entry, thanks again:


  3. Amy / Jun 18 2013 3:54 pm

    This sounds like a great book with losts of twists and turns and great characters. I would love to read it. Thanks for the giveaway.


  4. carolee888C / Jun 18 2013 4:20 pm

    I love twists too and the way that you described the main character. I love to read something that takes me away with the story. Thank you for this giveaway.



  5. ndluebke / Jun 18 2013 7:52 pm

    I’m very intrigued by this story. Thanks for the giveaway.


  6. Lisa Garrett / Jun 18 2013 8:45 pm

    I love fast paced thrillers!


  7. Lisa Garrett / Jun 18 2013 8:46 pm
  8. Jennifer @ The Relentless Reader / Jun 18 2013 9:27 pm

    I like a good twisty mystery 🙂 Thanks for the giveaway! therelentlessreader AT gmail DOT com


  9. Diane@BibliophilebytheSea / Jun 19 2013 5:55 am

    I’ve enjoyed this author in the past (I do have a copy) but nice giveaway.


  10. techeditor / Jun 19 2013 5:59 am

    I’ve never read Alafair Burke and would be happy to start with this.


  11. Beth F / Jun 19 2013 6:34 am

    I have a copy of this and have been hoping to make time for it — soon!


  12. Mona Garg / Jun 19 2013 3:06 pm

    Sounds like a great read. I’ve been wanting to read one of her books. I love suspense!
    Thanks 🙂


  13. Marjorie / Jun 19 2013 7:54 pm

    This novel has a very exciting storyline and I would love to read it.


  14. Anita Yancey / Jun 20 2013 7:54 am

    I really enjoy a good mystery with a lot of plot twists, and this one sounds like my kind of book. I have read a couple of Burke’s books and loved them. Thanks for having this giveaway.


  15. Heather J. @ TLC / Jun 20 2013 8:06 pm

    I’m glad to see how much you enjoyed this one! Thanks for being on the tour. I’m featuring your review on TLC’s Facebook page today.


  16. JJT / Jun 20 2013 9:30 pm

    Sounds great. Thanks for the giveaway


  17. rhonda / Jun 20 2013 10:05 pm

    Love thrillers please enter my name will tweet@rhondareads


  18. stacybuckeye / Jun 21 2013 10:46 pm

    I saw her on a panel at Bouchercon last October and put her on my wish list. Thanks for the reminder.


  19. Carol M / Jun 22 2013 11:29 am

    I really like thrillers and this sounds like one I would enjoy! Thank you for the giveaway!


  20. Sheila K. / Jun 22 2013 2:34 pm

    A new Alafair Burke novel is always good news—thanks for the opportunity to win her latest (I’ve been in love with her dad’s writing for decades)!


  21. Sheila K. / Jun 22 2013 2:36 pm
  22. diane / Jun 24 2013 9:22 am

    This sounds compelling and unforgettable. Thanks for this chance.


  23. ellie / Jun 24 2013 9:32 am

    This novel interests me greatly. Many thanks.



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