Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Review: Here Lies Daniel Tate by Cristin Terrill

Ack! Holidays, kids sick, me sick, dance class, holidays, new employee, new scouting group, winterizing, Cybils, holidays, summer reading prep, jury duty...and did I mention the holidays? I seem to be a bit behind here (and everywhere else), time to do some catching up!

Nothing like a good murder mystery to read right before you have jury duty:


It seems too good to be true when Daniel Tate, missing since he was abducted from one of California’s most elite private enclaves at the age of ten, turns up on a snowy street in Vancouver six years later. At first too traumatized to speak, he is eventually able to tell the authorities who he is and is reunited with his overjoyed family. In time, they tell him, he’ll recover the memories he’s missing; all that matters is that they have him back.

It’s perfect. A miracle. Except for one thing:
That boy isn’t Daniel Tate.

But he wants to be. A young con artist who’s been taking on false identities for years, this impostor has stumbled onto the scam of a lifetime. Daniel has everything he’s ever dreamed of—wealth, privilege, the chance to make a fresh start, and most importantly, a family that loves him. Now that he’s finally found a place to belong, he doesn’t question his luck.

Until he realizes that maybe Daniel isn’t missing at all. Maybe someone knows what really happened to the boy he’s pretending to be...and if he can’t uncover the truth—he could be next the next Daniel Tate to disappear.

I was immediately drawn into Daniel (well, fake-Daniel)'s life, rooting for him from the start. You know that what he is doing is wrong, and even fake-Daniel doesn't try to convince you it isn't, but you still just can't help liking him. All of the characters are fairly well-developed, but most are held at arm's length. It is fake-Daniel's head that the reader is inside, and it is hard to pull yourself out again to do mundane things like drive your car and cook supper.

The story premise had me intrigued, and it did not disappoint. I figured out "whodunit" by the end, and had an inkling of the final 'shocker', but there were enough red herrings along the way that I kept second-guessing myself. While I can't say the conclusion made me happy, I was satisfied with it. Intense, suspenseful and sharp, hand this off to teens or adults who appreciate a good thriller!

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