Tuesday, June 25, 2013

If You Were Here, Alafair Burke ~ book review

books, reading, amreading, fiction, mystery, goodreads

* I received a copy of this book to facilitate my review. I was not compensated in any way for this post and all expressed opinions are my own. There are affiliate links in this post. *

Alafair Burke is not an author I have read before, but she is definitely one I will read again.

If You Were Here is categorized as "a novel of suspense," and it says so on the front cover.

And that it was.

The primary character of McKenna is a magazine journalist who tries hard to get the good story. Her somewhat checkered history as an ADA comes into play as she moves forward in her current career. After publishing an article about a case she became entwined in many years ago a variety of things led her to connect a LOT of dots.

Interviewing a young teen after he was rescued from the subway tracks by a mystery woman led her deeper and deeper into her own past. How is it possible that this random current case scratches so many surfaces?

McKenna finds herself contacting former colleagues, reopening old wounds, losing trust in those who surround her. Family. Friends. Co-workers. Her boss. The cops. The FBI. We're talking a whole lot of secondary characters here. And yet - they all seem to find a role in the story that is relevant. Burke does that incredibly well.

But who can she trust? How can she find her way when there is nobody who "gets" what she's going through here?

All the while she is writing and trying to find her words. Those of us who write, we feel her. It's perfectly normal that she has this struggle. Her world is closing in. And falling around her. Upheaval can inspire one to write. But it can also freeze you in your tracks. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't, but I always want to read what McKenna has written.

Set in New York City, Burke brought me home. The smallest mention of McKenna's boss hitting a bagel store and I found myself longing for a REAL bagel. North Carolina bagels just don't come close.

She even made me miss the subway a little bit. *Truth. I promise.*

I devoured this book in about a day. And then I got all excited when I saw it at my local Barnes and Noble and wanted to tell people I loved it. Which I usually do - I'm that girl, sorry. I definitely recommend this read. You'll fly through the story and just keep asking questions.

And just when you think you've figured it out? You learn something new. Another reveal. And yet another. And you're relieved. And ticked off. And emotional. And a little scared. But you find yourself loving every minute of it.

So, who CAN McKenna trust?

Sorry. I can't tell you. You'll have to read it for yourself.

And you'll want to. I promise.

To get your own copy head on over to Amazon and download it immediately.

* Disclaimer reminder: I received a copy of this book from TLC Book Tours to facilitate my review. All expressed opinions are strictly my own. I really enjoyed this read. Pinky swear. *


  1. Sounds like a good one that would keep me up until the wee hours because once it sucked me in, I wouldn't want to put it down!

  2. I *just* finished an excellent book and I need a new one. I love a book that keeps me guessing!! I can't wait to read it. You also drew out the suspense in your review!! Well done!! --Lisa

  3. I love a good novel of suspense!!

  4. Another good one to put in my queue. Unfortunately, I get in bed and read a page or two then crash. I creep through books even great ones. Thankfully when I go on vacation, that changes and I get to read lots. I'll add this to the list.

  5. Sounds like this is one of those books to keep readers up late into the night to see what happens next!

    Thanks for being on the tour.

  6. sounds like an intriguing read. thanks for recommending. I enjoy talking books with "that girl" in the store so keep it up. :) I always love to hear others recommendations.

    I was at a playground today with Devil in the White City and the dad next to me struck up a random conversation with me about it. He was a history major and enjoyed learning that part of history. It's definitely suspeseful.


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