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Dead Connection
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About the Author

A former deputy district attorney in Portland, Oregon, Alafair Burke now teaches criminal law at Hofstra Law School and lives in New York City. Her three novels in the Samantha Kincaid series, "Judgment Calls," "Missing Justice," and "Close Case," are available in paperback from St. Martin's Press. Her novel, Angel's Tip, features NYPD Detective Ellie Hatcher.

Reviews

Burke (criminal law, Hofstra Law Sch.) takes a break from her terrific Samantha Kincaid legal thriller series (Close Case) with this novel of Internet dating, murder, and high-tech mayhem. Young New York City Police Det. Ellie Hatcher is temporarily reassigned from the robbery division to assist maverick homicide Det. Flann McIlroy. McIlroy is trying to tie together the murders of two young single women and wants input from someone who can relate. An email found on the body of the second victim is traced to an online dating service called FirstDate.com. After determining that both women were members, the detectives approach the online dating service about the men who had contacted the victims. But FirstDate is not especially forthcoming, and anonymous men make difficult suspects. Hatcher and McIlroy dig deeper, but more bodies start piling up, forcing them to widen their chase. (Along the way, they end up in New Iberia, LA, in a lovely homage to the author's father, crime writer James Lee Burke.) This stunning thriller ends with a tantalizing glimpse into what is sure to be a highly anticipated sequel (the publisher calls it a standalone). Highly recommended for all public libraries. [See Prepub Alert, LJ 3/1/07; see interview with Burke on p. 70.-Ed.]-Stacy Alesi, Boca Raton, FL Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.

Adult/High School-New York Detective Ellie Hatcher has been recruited by a Manhattan Homicide Task Force to assist renegade detective Flann McIlroy (whose nickname "McIl Mulder" alludes to his unusual way of solving his cases). The two are on the trail of a serial killer who is using an Internet matchmaking company called FirstDate. Soon they are enmeshed in the world of Internet socializing where the users trust that their identities can be hidden, but the reality is that those with the right skills can track down anyone online. And people are dying. There are a lot of subplots involving Ellie's family, other officers, the Russian mafia, and the FBI, and the plot twists and folds back on itself nicely at the end.-Jane Halsall, McHenry Public Library District, IL Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.

Putting feisty DA Samantha Kincaid on hold after three novels (Close Case, etc.), Burke introduces a disappointingly dull heroine in 30-year-old NYPD detective Ellie Hatcher. Flamboyant homicide detective Flann McIlroy asks outspoken Ellie to assist in looking into the First Date case, a series of murders seemingly connected by the female victims' subscription to an online-dating site. Flann is relying on "curvy" Ellie as "date bait," but also hopes that Ellie's past might help with the case: Ellie's father, a Wichita, Kans., cop, died under mysterious circumstances soon after bringing an infamous local serial killer, the College Hill Strangler, to justice. As Ellie and Flann dig deeper into the shady history of the dating site-and its potential link to the Russian mafia-Ellie realizes that the killer is taunting her just as the College Hill Strangler taunted her father. Ellie's character never quite gels, however, and her interactions with the suspects don't provide enough tension or heat to keep pages turning all the way through. (July) Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.

"Alafair Burke delivers a first-rate thriller, as a rookie detective investigates the dark side of internet dating while trying to survive the mean streets of New York. Absolutely riveting."-- Lisa Gardner, author of "Gone """ "Alafair Burke proves her flair for creating compelling characters and a tricky plot in "Dead Connection," Fans of detective fiction will enjoy young, complicated Ellie Hatcher as she willingly, frighteningly, plays victim, hoping to trap a killer."-- Perri O'Shaughnessy, author of "Keeper Of The Keys"
"These are characters I'd follow forever! "Dead Connection" is a sleek and utterly riveting thriller that deserves every accolade it is sure to get."-- Tess Gerritsen, "New York Times" bestselling author of "The Mephisto Club""" "Engaging characters, dark subject matter, and a compelling story. A suspenseful and entertaining read."-- Kathy Reichs, "New York Times" bestselling author of "Break No Bones"
"Intricately-plotted, fast-paced...Holds the reader's attention from first word to last, and begs for a sequel."-"Kirkus Reviews"

"""Pure, heart-pounding escapism . . . Burke taps into a cultural hot-button issue: the increasing popularity of online dating sites and the very real possibility that the person you are connecting with is lying about who he/she is."-"USA Today", in a Top 5 summer thriller pick" """ """Burke, the daughter of Cajun thriller maestro James Lee, is a terrific web spinner. She knows when and how to drop clues to keep readers at her mercy. A-" -"Entertainment Weekly""Intelligent, emotionally literate and unusually-given the dark subject-matter-funny, with strong characters and tight plotting, "Dead Connection" is a riveting read." -"The Guardian" ""


"Intricately-plotted, fast-paced...Holds the reader's attention from first word to last, and begs for a sequel."--"Kirkus Reviews"

"""Pure, heart-pounding escapism . . . Burke taps into a cultural hot-button issue: the increasing popularity of online dating sites and the very real possibility that the person you are connecting with is lying about who he/she is."--"USA Today", in a Top 5 summer thriller pick"""""""Burke, the daughter of Cajun thriller maestro James Lee, is a terrific web spinner. She knows when and how to drop clues to keep readers at her mercy. A-" --"Entertainment Weekly""Intelligent, emotionally literate and unusually--given the dark subject-matter--funny, with strong characters and tight plotting, "Dead Connection" is a riveting read." --"The Guardian"""

Intricately-plotted, fast-paced...Holds the reader's attention from first word to last, and begs for a sequel. "Kirkus Reviews" Pure, heart-pounding escapism . . . Burke taps into a cultural hot-button issue: the increasing popularity of online dating sites and the very real possibility that the person you are connecting with is lying about who he/she is. "USA Today, in a Top 5 summer thriller pick" Burke, the daughter of Cajun thriller maestro James Lee, is a terrific web spinner. She knows when and how to drop clues to keep readers at her mercy. A- "Entertainment Weekly" Intelligent, emotionally literate and unusually--given the dark subject-matter--funny, with strong characters and tight plotting, "Dead Connection" is a riveting read. "The Guardian""

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