A huge thank you to Simon and Schuster for providing me with a galley of Here Lies Daniel Tate in exchange for an honest review!
A young, street-savvy runaway looking for a place to call home realizes he might have conned his way into the wrong family in this fast-paced and thrilling novel from award-winning author Cristin Terrill.
When ten-year-old Daniel Tate went missing from one of California's most elite communities, he left no trace. He simply vanished.
Six years later, when he resurfaces on a snowy street in Vancouver, he's no longer the same boy. His sandy hair is darker, the freckles are gone, and he's initially too traumatized to speak, but he's alive. His overjoyed family brings him home to a world of luxury and comfort he can barely remember. In time, they assure him, he'll recover his memories; all that matters now is they're together again.
It's perfect. A miracle. Except for one thing.
He isn't Daniel Tate.
He's a petty con artist who accidentally stumbled into the scam of a lifetime, and he soon learns he's not the only one in the Tate household with something to hide. The family has as many secrets as they have millions in the bank, and one of them might be ready to kill to keep the worst one buried.
Cristin Terrill absolutely blew me away with her debut, All Our Yesterdays, back in 2013. I have been waiting and waiting for her next book since then. My expectations for Here Lies Daniel Tate were very high. When I started this book, I couldn't put it down. I devoured page after page. It was hands down a five star read...until the very end.
Let's go back to the beginning though. I immediately could tell that Terrill's strong writing and engrossing story-telling were going to shine through in Daniel Tate. And they most definitely did. Terrill has a way of drawing me in and her stories get such a grasp on my mind that I can't get away until I've finished them. Daniel Tate was full of intrigue, gut-wrenching twists, a main character than made me feel so strongly. Side characters that demanded an emotional response. The story itself was so fast paced and full.
The mystery that the story focuses on was so much fun to read. A couple times I was able to see where things were headed, but most of the time I was left guessing as much as the main character, which is something that I really appreciate in books these days. I don't want to be able to predict everything that's going to happen in a story, and Terrill did a great job of throwing in red herrings and twists in all the right places so that I was kept on my toes.
I really enjoyed 98% of this book. I loved the direction I felt that it was going. But I was left a bit unsatisfied by the end. I was expecting a big Fight Club-esque reveal to happen on the last few pages and that's not what I got. My dissatisfaction definitely stems from a personal preference to know absolutely everything. This ending was a bit more open that I expected and wasn't quite what I wanted. That said, I can see it really appealing to other readers for that same reason. Not everyone is like me, wanting to know all the facts and have things laid out plainly in the end. Some people like to be left guessing a bit, to be left wondering if the dream is really one more layer deep. (Obviously, this book appealed to my inner-cinephile for some reason.)
Would I recommend Here Lies Daniel Tate? Most definitely. It's really fun to read, really fast paced, and a very unique story with excellent writing. Will I ever read it again? Probably not. But I'm glad that I did read it, and I will always be first in line for Cristin Terrill's future books. Because I did love most of the book so much, I ended up giving it a solid four stars. And I would absolutely love to pick Terrill's brain someday about the ending.
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