Dead Connection by Alafair Burke

Dead Connection (Ellie Hatcher #1)Dead Connection

by Alafair Burke
Series: Ellie Hatcher, #1

Hardcover, 336 pg.
Henry Holt and Co., 2007
Read: June 22 -23, 2014

I’ll be honest — it was this video that got me looking into this series. I figured an author with taste enough to help out the Kickstarter enough to get that video as a reward is someone I’d enjoy spending time with.

And, yeah, I was right. Ellie Hatcher, her brother, and her father’s dark past are right up my alley. Rookie detective, Ellie Hatcher, has been temporarily assigned to Homicide to assist with the investigation into a series of murders revolving around the client list of an online dating site.

Ellie’s career-driven, haunted by the murder of her father (which the Wichita police have declared a suicide), idealistic and in love with New York City. She came to the city to look after her brother, Jess, a would-be rock musician with questionable judgment in recreational activities. She works harder than she should, spends more time on cases than she needs to, and no personal life outside her brother. So when given the chance to work a Homicide, she throws herself into it.

It’s quite the case, too. There’s a sociopath, Russian mobsters, identity theft, crooked cops, and enough other ingredients to keep Ellie burning the midnight oil and the reader to keep the pages turning as fast as possible.

This was a very clever mystery — downright smart, in fact. I’d guessed the killer, because of story structure/dramatics not because of the whys and wherefores and the psycho-ness of it all. I did put all the pieces together slightly ahead of Ellie (like half a page or so), but by that point, Burke wanted the reader to.

There’s a moral flexibility to the plot’s resolution, to ensure justice is done that I frequently quite enjoy in fiction — but would hate in reality. Which is why I read fiction and not true crime, I guess.

I’ll be back for more, very soon.


4 Stars


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