Sixteen-year-old Julia Whitmire appeared to have everything: a famous father, a luxurious Manhattan townhouse, a coveted spot at the elite Casden prep school. When she is found dead in her bathtub, a handwritten suicide note left on her bed, her parents insists that their daughter would never take her own life.
But Julia’s enviable world was more complicated than it seemed. The pressure to excel at Casden was enormous. Abuse of prescription anti-depressants and ADHD medication ran rampant among students; an unlabeled bottle of pills in Julia’s purse suggests she had succumbed to the trend. And a search of Julia’s computer reveals that in the days leading up to her death, she was engaged in a dangerous game of cyberbullying against an unlikely victim.
NYPD Detective Ellie Hatcher is convinced the case is a suicide, but she knows from personal experience that a loving family can be the last to accept the truth. When the Whitmires use their power to force a criminal investigation, Ellie’s resistance causes trouble for her both at work and in her personal life.
As she is pressured to pursue a case she doesn’t believe in, she is pulled into Julia’s inner circle-an eclectic mix of overly precocious teenagers from Manhattan’s most privileged families as well as street kids she met in Greenwich Village. But when the target of Julia’s harassment continues to receive death threats, Ellie is forced to acknowledge that Julia may have learned the hard way that some secrets should never be told.
Critical Praise for Alafair Burke
“Alafair Burke is one of the finest young crime writers working today.”
—Dennis Lehane, New York Times-bestselling author of Moonlight Mile
“Alafair Burke understands the criminal mind.”
—Nelson DeMille, New York Times-bestselling author of The Lion
“A smooth, compelling read…this entry in the Ellie Hatcher series sings.”
“The meticulous plotting, coupled with Ellie’s complicated evolution as a heroine, make this Burke’s strongest work to date.”
—Publishers Weekly (starred review)