Title: Dead Connection (Ellie Hatcher #1)
Author: Alafair Burke
Publisher: Holt, Henry and Company
Publication Date: July, 2007
Genre: Mystery / Thriller
Description: In this electrifying thriller, a rookie detective goes undercover on the Internet dating scene to draw out a serial killer targeting single women in Manhattan
When two young women are murdered on the streets of New York, exactly one year apart, Detective Ellie Hatcher is called up for a special assignment on the homicide task force. The killer has left behind a clue connecting the two cases to First Date, a popular online dating service, and Flann McIlroy, an eccentric, publicity-seeking homicide detective, is convinced that only Ellie can help him pursue his terrifying theory: someone is using the lure of the Internet and the promise of love to launch a killing spree against the women of New York City.
To catch the killer, Ellie must enter a high-tech world of stolen identities where no one is who they appear to be. And for her, the investigation quickly becomes personal: she fits the profile of the victims, and she knows firsthand what pursuing a sociopath can do to a cop--back home in Wichita, Kansas, her father lost his life trying to catch a notorious serial murderer.
When the First Date killer begins to mimic the monster who destroyed her father, Ellie knows the game has become personal for him, too. Both hunter and prey, she must find the killer before he claims his next victim--who could very well be her.
Expertly plotted and perfectly paced, Dead Connection advances Alafair Burke to the front ranks of American thriller writers.
My Thoughts: The first book in the Ellie Hatcher series by new to me author, Alafair Burke introduces us to Ellie Hatcher, an NYPD Detective who is transferred to a new unit to help solve the murders of four women, who are all connected by an online dating site.
I absolutely loved Ellie. She's strong but not arrogant or pushy. She has some demons in her past that she is battling surrounding the death of her father, also a cop, when she was a kid. She's tenacious but she is open and flexible to looking at the bigger picture.
This story really packed a punch for me and as each layer was folded back and the reader learns more, the intensity levels increased as it became apparent how complex this story is.
Ellie is also very likable. I enjoyed her sense of humor and her outlook on the world around her. She has a way with people that puts them at ease, from hardened cops who don't know what a sexual harassment policy is in place for all the way to suspects and potential romantic interests. Ellie can handle herself and I liked that she didn't allow the bad and the ugly side of her job drag her down. Unfortunately, there is a lot of bad and ugly that came out of left field and hopefully the second book, Angel's Tip, will prove to be just as entertaining.
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