Saturday, July 26, 2014

If You Were Here by Alafair Burke

While investigating the story of teenager who was rescued from a Subway station by an unknown hero, New York City Magazine journalist McKenna Jordan receives a video from one of the witnesses. She swears that the unknown woman in the the video clip looks just like her friend, Susan Hauptmann, who disappeared 10 years ago.

The unknown woman also has a pin on her backpack from a bioenivormental group. Susan was a West Point graduate, so the pin is perplexing but it really is the only lead she has. She looks to Detective Scanlan, who handled Susan's disappearance case all those years ago, for help in finding Susan.

McKenna used to work for the D.A.'s office but quit after she was ostracized for suggesting that a beloved cop who gunned down a black kid, Marcus Jones (reminiscent of the real-life Trayvon Martin case), planted a gun on the victim to justify the shooting. Needless to say, no one is eager now to assist in reopening Susan's case, but McKenna becomes even more tenacious after the video mysteriously disappears from the website, suggesting that someone doesn't want Susan found.

The multiple legal plot threads engage the reader and converge expertly by the time you reach the conclusion. I wouldn't say this book is stellar, especially when compared to Lisa Scottoline or Linda Fairstein, but enjoyable enough that I would consider reading another one of her books.

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