Review

Here Lies Daniel Tate

Here Lies Daniel Tate

Here Lies Daniel Tate

by Cristin Terrill

Genre: YA Mystery
Published: June 6th 2017
by Simon and Schuster

two-half-stars

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Summary:

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, he resurfaces on a snowy street in Vancouver. His overjoyed family brings him home to a world of luxury and comfort he can barely remember. 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.

Review:

But if there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s that people are bad at keeping secrets, and eventually everything shows. You can learn all there is to know by watching someone hard enough, long enough.

Cristin Terrill’s debut All Our Yesterdays is one of my favorite books of all time, so I was ecstatic when I learned she was writing a new book. Unfortunately, Here Lies Daniel Tate simply didn’t blow me away the way All Our Yesterdays did, and I can’t help but feel a twinge of disappointment.

Six years ago, 10-year-old Daniel Tate disappeared without a trace, leaving authorities baffled. Now, he’s miraculously reappeared in Vancouver. Except Daniel Tate isn’t really Daniel Tate at all – he’s a conman who’s stumbled on the mission of a lifetime. But “Danny” isn’t the only one with secrets…the Tates have some too; ones they’ll kill to protect.

“Daniel” is an intriguing and unreliable narrator. He’s a skilled manipulator and liar, and you can never truly trust what he’s saying. However, I wish his backstory was touched upon more so we could understand his decisions and choices better. We know he’s a conman, but we’re never told why he’s a conman or even, for instance, what his childhood was like.

There was a romance between “Daniel” and a classmate he meets at school that felt really unnecessary and unbelievable. I found it hard to believe that such a dedicated conman would be swayed by something as trivial as a romance. And, quite frankly, there was no chemistry or attraction between them either.

There were also a variety of things about the plot that made it feel rather unbelievable and unrealistic. (For example: when “Daniel” is found in Vancouver, they don’t even check his DNA to confirm that he is, in fact, Daniel. In such a high profile disappearance case, this didn’t seem very plausible or accurate.)

While this didn’t quite live up to the high standard Terrill set with All Our Yesterdays, this is still a decent and entertaining story if you’re willing to suspend some disbelief and overlook an unnecessary romance. Fans of Damage Done by Amanda Panitch and Pretending to Be Erica by Michelle Painchaud will enjoy it.

two-half-stars

28 thoughts on “Here Lies Daniel Tate

  1. Oh dear, this is one of the ones I thought had good potential when I read about it. the lack of DNA is a pretty big hurdle the author seems to have completely ignored ๐Ÿ™

  2. I’m so sorry this one was a miss Zoe! ๐Ÿ™ I didn’t think All Our Yesterdays would be my type of book, and this one too. It just seems more implausible than the synopsis itself, and if the romance and backstory weren’t even good… well, what’s left? Hopefully your next read is better. Great review!

  3. I agree with you on the DNA testing – that seemed kind of weird. I also though the reveal that was made about โ…” way through came too late -I would have been much more intrigued if that had been revealed earlier and would’ve made the no DNA testing thing much more plausible. (I hid my spoiler thoughts on my Goodreads review that include a GoT reference : here):
    Great review!

  4. I’M SO SAD, ZOE!! This is like the first book in forever that we have terribly not twinned at!I gave it 5-stars and allll the love, it’s honestly one of my favourites of the year. And I get why they didn’t do the DNA testing and stuff…I mean, after the plot twist at the end, I think most of that stuff makes sense.

  5. Aww the premise of this book sounded really promising. I’m sorry you didn’t enjoy it. It’s disappointing that the book didn’t explore more of the backstory of a conman because I agree that would be super interesting. If I ever read this novel, I’ll probably have to suspend my belief for the sake of the story. A great review Zoe!!

  6. Sorry to hear this book was so disappointing. The synopsis sounded so good too. I could easily see myself having many of the same issues with it you did though, especially not doing the DNA test to confirm identity. Great review though.

  7. Oooh sadness! I am not great at suspending disbelief honestly, so I don’t know if this one is going to work out for me. And so sorry that it was disappointing for you, too. I really want to read All Our Yesterdays though, so I am glad you loved that one at least ๐Ÿ˜‰ Great review!

  8. Argh, I really enjoyed All Our Yesterdays so much – am sorry to hear this doesn’t live up to expectations. I especially loathe it when procedural elements are overlooked in crime/mystery novels – it’s a pet peeve of mine!

  9. Oh, no! I’m so sorry this one didn’t blow you away, Zoe ๐Ÿ™ It’s always a bit sad to read a book by a favourite author that doesn’t live up to the book you loved so much.

    The fact that they didn’t test this conman’s DNA is very unbelievable, and something like that would annoy me for the entire time I read the book! Also, I agree that a conman is unlikely to be swayed by romance, especially if it didn’t feel particularly organic.

    I’ll still probably check this one out, as I think the storyline is intriguing but Ill keep in mind the things you mentioned. I hope you love your next book!

  10. Hmm…not checking his DNA to see if he is who he says he is sounds VERY over-the-top. Don’t know if I can look past that. I hadn’t really taken an interest in this book before I stumbled upon your review. I may check it All Our Yesterdays instead, since you seemed more impressed by it. ๐Ÿ™‚

  11. I didn’t know about this one and at first I was super intrigued because I’ve been meaning to read more mysteries and the blurb sounds super good, but your review does make me doubt a bit. I’m not one to suspend disbelief too much, especially not for a mystery so not sure… Maybe someday. Great review though!

  12. Lovely review! I’m really intrigued by this synopsis but I’m a bit sad that we don’t get to know much about the main character’s background, it would have been so interesting to get to know about this a bit better. Maybe I’ll give it a try someday, though ๐Ÿ™‚

  13. Awww nooo, it’s so unfortunate you didn’t like this!!! I do understand your qualms with it, though. I know the whole DNA seemed a bit weird, but I think that had more to do with Patrick pulling strings in high places than anything else. I am interested in Cristin Terrill’s first book though!!
    I do also kind of wish Daniel’s backstory was touched upon more as well, but then I have to wonder if that would end up taking away from the point of his character, ya know? ๐Ÿ˜‰
    Lovely review, Zoe!! xx

  14. I’ve heard a lot about Christin Terrill and i really want to read one of her books but I think it looks like I probably won’t be starting with this one. It’s a shame because it sounds like a really cool idea, but maybe I’ll read All Our Yesterday’s first and see how that goes!

    Great review ๐Ÿ™‚

  15. wow i had never heard about Christin Terrill before! after reading your reviews, i think All Our Yesterdays looks like something i’d like to get my hands on! and i’m sorry to hear that you didn’t enjoy this one as much. i feel like the new book after an author’s debut is always the trickiest both for them and for fans <3 amazing review zoe!

  16. Oh shame, this sounds like a book that had so much potential. I LOVE unreliable narrators, but there needs to be a clear explanation for why they are the way they are, otherwise the story really falls flat. ๐Ÿ™

  17. Wow, what a disappointment! The blurb sounded so, so good and interesting. I’m sorry it didn’t really live up to your expectations, Zoe ๐Ÿ™
    I don’t think I’d be able to overlook that unnecessary romance or the plot inconsistencies, so I might skip it for the time being.
    Wonderful review, as always! ๐Ÿ™‚

  18. Aw man. I freaking loved All Our Yesterdays so I hate to see that this one didn’t live up to the amazingness that was AOY. I’m with you though about the backstory. I don’t like info dumping but if this guy is so critical to the story and is the whole reason the story exists, I’d kind of like to know *why* he is the way that he is. Also, an unnecessary romance turns me off a bit too. I’ll still probably read it just to see but I’ll wait until it’s on sale on Kindle.

  19. Hmm – I like the premise for this, and I do enjoy a good narrative where you’re constantly questioning the narrator – however no backstory would have left me feeling a bit cold as well. Also the ‘love trumps everything’ trope is not a good one for me.

    I have difficulty when there are so many plot holes so I feel like, at the end of the day, this probably isn’t for me.

    Thanks for the comprehensive review!

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