Here Lies Daniel Tate
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.
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.