If you haven’t started reading Here Lies Daniel Tate by Cristin Terrill, you aren’t living your best life now! Check out the book description, then let me explain exactly why this book is AMAZING!
It seems too good to be true when Daniel Tate, missing since he was abducted from one of California’s most elite private enclaves at the age of ten, turns up on a snowy street in Vancouver six years later. At first too traumatized to speak, he is eventually able to tell the authorities who he is and is reunited with his overjoyed family. In time, they tell him, he’ll recover the memories he’s missing; all that matters is that they have him back.
It’s perfect. A miracle. Except for one thing:
That boy isn’t Daniel Tate.
But he wants to be. A young con artist who’s been taking on false identities for years, this impostor has stumbled onto the scam of a lifetime. Daniel has everything he’s ever dreamed of—wealth, privilege, the chance to make a fresh start, and most importantly, a family that loves him. Now that he’s finally found a place to belong, he doesn’t question his luck.
Until he realizes that maybe Daniel isn’t missing at all. Maybe someone knows what really happened to the boy he’s pretending to be…and if he can’t uncover the truth—he could be next the next Daniel Tate to disappear.
I know, that description sounds so good, and I promise the actual book will live up to ALL your expectations. I read it in one sitting because I couldn’t put it down! It also has the perfect pacing: not too fast that you miss any details, and not too slow that you ever get bored as you read. It’s the thriller mystery you didn’t know you needed, and I could gush about it forever, BUT I don’t want to give away any spoilers. So check out my 6 spoiler-free reasons to read Here Lies Daniel Tate, and then start reading the extended excerpt (available until July 3rd)! You’re welcome in advance and if you’d like to gush about the book with me, feel free to do so in the comments!
Daniel is the king of unreliable narrators because he’s an incredibly gifted con-man. You can’t trust anything he says, but the story is told from his perspective, which means you never quite know what to think or believe. There are moments when you’ll swear he’s telling the truth, only to have him explain exactly how he lied, and when you think he’s lying, he’ll turn out to be telling the truth. He also flip-flops between being bad and being good. At times you’ll think he’s a villain in this story, and at other times you’ll swear he’s the only good guy left.
2. The Tate Family
At first, the Tate family seems like your average (albeit rich) family that has gone through a tragedy. After all, no one can be expected to be normal after losing a family member, but as you read on, you’ll start to realize that something about the family is off. They’re a little creepy, but you can’t quite put your finger on WHY. Patrick, Daniel’s older brother, is almost too accepting. Lex, his older sister, is just a little too nice. Nicholas, his other brother, is a little too skeptical. Jessica, his Mom, is distant and an alcoholic. The only one who acts normal is Daniel’s youngest sister, Mia, but she was only a baby when Daniel went missing. Still, even as you’re trying to explain what’s off about the family, you can’t. It’s just a gut feeling that haunts you as you read.
3. The Mysteries
What happened to Daniel all those years ago? The book begins with the mystery of Daniel and his unusual disappearance, but from there, you’ll start to learn about several other mysteries. Why didn’t Daniel’s disappearance get more news coverage? Why is Jessica so distant from her children? Why is Nicholas so reluctant to believe Daniel? What is Patrick hiding? What is the secret that the family doesn’t want Daniel to find out? One mystery leads to another, until they eventually all snowball together to form massive mysteries that you’ll be DYING to get answers for!
4. The Writing
Cristin Terrill does an amazing job at getting you hooked from page one with Daniel’s compelling and intriguing narrative. Daniel has no recollection of his family (since it isn’t actually his family) so you’re able to learn about the Tate family and their quirks through Daniel’s incredibly scrutinizing and perceptive eyes. He’s also scrappy, so he finds family documents, videos, and notes that allow you to get other insider-information about the family members. Every page holds a clue that you’re supposed to use to solve the ultimate mystery, and the more you learn, the more you’ll wonder what really happened to Daniel Tate all those years ago. You’ll question everything until the very last page.
5. The Twist
I obviously won’t give away what the big surprise is, but OH MY GOODNESS. I audibly gasped as I was reading on the subway and I’m not even a little bit embarrassed by it. I pride myself on being able to guess mystery outcomes, but I did NOT see that one coming. You might guess pieces of it, but definitely not the whole thing!
6. My reading experience in gifs
First I was like:
Then I was like:
Then I thought:
Until I went:
And then finally: