Amy Myers is known for her short stories and historical novels featuring Victorian chef Auguste Didier and chimney sweep Tom Wasp. Her contemporary series features classic car detective Jack Colby, and she is currently working on a new 1920s mystery series featuring Nell Drury, chef at Kent’s Wychbourne Court.
Alafair Burke comes to this accomplished New York thriller well qualified, being a former prosecutor in the UK courts and district attorney in Portland, plus the fact that she is currently a professor of criminal law at Hofstra Law School.
She uses this background to good purpose in her new novel. If You Were Here is her second standalone novel after two series, one starring New York Police Detective Ellie Hatcher, the other Portland Deputy District Attorney Samantha Kincaid.
If You Were Here stars McKenna Jordan, journalist and legal thriller writer. Ten years previously she had left her post as an assistant district attorney after a case in which a police officer had shot a young man called Marcus Jones had gone badly wrong. Now her editor wants to resurrect the story. Then she hears about a teenager who had been saved from certain death when he fell from the platform on to a subway track by an unknown woman who leapt down to rescue him. Only she isn’t unknown to McKenna. When she sees a video clip of the incident, she recognises her. It’s Susan Hauptmann, a former flatmate of hers, who had disappeared ten years previously and had not been heard of since.
McKenna feels she must investigate, not least because it was Susan who introduced her to Patrick Jordan, now McKenna’s husband to whom she has been married for several happy years. But the story of Susan Hauptmann is hard to unravel, especially since the case of Marcus Jones is by no means over. Following the two strands takes McKenna into uncharted and very dangerous waters.
Intricately plotted, If You Were Here is confidently written and ticks all the right boxes for a suspenseful and satisfying read.
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