The Ex by Alafair is the latest novel by the New York Times Bestselling author. Publisher: HarperCollins, February 2016
Twenty years ago she ruined his life. Now she has the chance to save it.
Widower Jack Harris has resisted the dating scene ever since the shooting of his wife Molly by a fifteen-year-old boy three years ago. An early morning run along the Hudson River changes that when he spots a woman in last night’s party dress, barefoot, enjoying a champagne picnic alone, reading his favorite novel. Everything about her reminds him of what he used to have with Molly. Eager to help Jack find love again, his best friend posts a message on a popular website after he mentions the encounter. Days later, that same beautiful stranger responds and invites Jack to meet her in person at the waterfront. That’s when Jack’s world falls apart.
Olivia Randall is one of New York City’s best criminal defense lawyers. When she hears that her former fiancé, Jack Harris, has been arrested for a triple homicide—and that one of the victims was connected to his wife’s murder—there is no doubt in her mind as to his innocence. The only question is who would go to such great lengths to frame him—and why?
For Olivia, representing Jack is a way to make up for past regrets, to absolve herself of guilt from a tragic decision, a secret she has held for twenty years. But as the evidence against him mounts, she is forced to confront her doubts. The man she knew could not have done this. But what if she never really knew him?
Oh how this story pulled me in immediately quickly putting me in a page turning frenzy as I had to know what happened next. A phone call is how this start and the author runs with it taking me on a thrilling roller coaster ride that I did not want to get off. The set-up in this fast-paced drama contained many diversions, purposely created by the author, to keep me reading, even missing a subway stop or two. Did he do it? That’s Olivia’s mission to uncover in this suspenseful and intriguing tale that when it was all said and done, it’s the culmination of the skillful way in how this was presented and the twists and turns that delivered an engaging and gripping read.
All Day and a Night by Alafair Burke is the fifth book in the “Ellie Hatcher” suspense series. Publisher: HarperCollins, June 2014
When psychotherapist Helen Brunswick is murdered in her Park Slope office, the entire city suspects her estranged husband—until the District Attorney’s office receives an anonymous letter. The letter’s author knows a chilling detail that police have kept secret: the victim’s bones were broken after she was killed. Her injuries were eerily similar to the signature used twenty years earlier by Anthony Amaro, a serial killer serving a life sentence for his crimes. Now, Amaro is asking to be released from prison, arguing that he was wrongly convicted, and that the true killer is still on the loose.
NYPD Detectives Ellie Hatcher and JJ Rogan are tapped as the “fresh look” team to reassess the original investigation that led to Amaro’s conviction. The case pits them against both their fellow officers and a hard-charging celebrity defense lawyer with a young associate named Carrie Blank, whose older sister was one of Amaro’s victims.
As the NYPD and Amaro’s lawyers search for certainty among conflicting evidence, their investigations take them back to Carrie’s hometown, where secrets buried long ago lead to a brutal attack—one that makes it terrifyingly clear that someone has gotten too close to the truth.
Alafair has done it again by delivering a suspenseful and compelling drama that had me turning the pages in this thrilling story with a well-developed plot where a past crime haunts the present when Hatcher and Rogan are asked to take a “fresh-look.” The more I read, the more this story pulled me in as the intensity of what was going on inched towards a conclusion worthy of our two lead characters. With great characterizations, a nice evenly flow and provoking dialogue, this was a terrific read and one of the best book yet in this fabulous series and I can’t wait to see what Alafair pens next.
If You Were Here by Alafair Burke is a is a thrilling novel of suspense from Alafair Burke, the author Dennis Lehane calls “one of the finest young crime writers working today.” Publisher: HarperCollins, June 2013
Manhattan journalist McKenna Jordan is chasing the story of an unidentified woman who heroically pulled a teenaged boy from the subway tracks. When she locates a video that captures part of the incident, she thinks she has an edge on the competition scrambling to identify the mystery heroine, but is shocked to discover that the woman in the video bears a strong resemblance to Susan Hauptmann, a close friend who disappeared without a trace a decade earlier.
What would have been a short-lived metro story sends McKenna on a dangerous search for the missing woman—a search that will force her to unearth long-buried truths much closer to home.
I could not put down this fast-paced and non-stop action drama that quickly became a page turner. The characters, the dialogue, the suspense, the revelations all had me glued to the page as we moved to a conclusion that I was eager to reach and boy did I enjoy this novel when it was all over. Alafair is a proficient writer who knows how to tell a story and make you believe that you are there right in the thick of things. This was a good read and I look forward to more stories from Ms. Burke.
Never Tell by Alafair Burke is the fourth book in the “Ellie Hatcher” thriller series. Publisher: HarperCollins, June 2012
Sixteen-year-old Julia Whitmire appeared to have everything: a famous father, a luxurious Manhattan town house, a coveted spot at the elite Casden prep school. When she is found dead in her bathtub, a handwritten suicide note left on her bed, her parents insist that their daughter would never take her own life.
But Julia’s enviable world was more complicated than it seemed. The pressure to excel at Casden was enormous. Abuse of prescription antidepressants and ADHD medication ran rampant among students; an unlabeled bottle of pills in Julia’s purse suggests she had succumbed to the trend. And a search of Julia’s computer reveals that in the days leading up to her death she was engaged in a dangerous game of cyberbullying against an unlikely victim.
NYPD detective Ellie Hatcher is convinced the case is a suicide, but she knows from personal experience that a loving family can be the last to accept the truth. When the Whitmires use their power to force a criminal investigation, Ellie’s resistance causes trouble for her both at work and in her personal life. As she is pressured to pursue a case she doesn’t believe in, she is pulled into Julia’s inner circle—an eclectic mix of overly precocious teenagers from Manhattan’s most privileged families as well as street kids from Greenwich Village. But when the target of Julia’s harassment continues to receive death threats, Ellie is forced to acknowledge that Julia may have learned the hard way that some secrets should never be told.
Ellie thought the death was a suicide but with prodding from the victim’s mother; the case opened up into something more sinister and in the end, a mother’s child was still dead. Never Tell is one of those books that you start to read and then can’t let it go until you turned the last page. This was a fast-pace and intriguing ride that I did not want to get off. The author has a way with words that made you feel like you were a part of the team as they look for answers to the questions posed in front of them. The suspects were plenty and that kept me guessing as to which way this drama would lead, and boy was I surprised when the facts played out. This is an excellent read and I can’t wait for the next book in this in this fabulous series.
Lone Gone by Alafair Burke. Publisher: HarperCollins, June 2011
After a layoff and months of struggling, Alice Humphrey finally lands her dream job managing a new art gallery in Manhattan’s trendy Meatpacking District.
According to Drew Campbell, the well-suited corporate representative who hires her, the gallery is a passion project for its anonymous, wealthy, and eccentric owner. Drew assures Alice that the owner will be hands off, allowing her to run the gallery on her own. Her friends think it sounds too good to be true, but Alice sees a perfect opportunity to make a name for herself beyond the shadow of her famous father, an award-winning and controversial film maker.
Everything is perfect until the morning Alice arrives at work to find the gallery gone—the space stripped bare as if it had never existed—and Drew Campbell’s dead body on the floor. Overnight, Alice’s dream job has vanished, and she finds herself at the center of police attention with nothing to prove her innocence. The phone number Drew gave her links back to a disposable phone.
The artist whose work she displayed doesn’t seem to exist. And the dead man she claims is Drew has been identified as someone else.
When police discover ties between the gallery and a missing girl, Alice knows she’s been set up. Now she has to prove it—a dangerous search for answers that will entangle her in a dark, high-tech criminal conspiracy and force her to unearth long-hidden secrets involving her own family… secrets that could cost Alice her life.
Alice was unemployed. She refused her father’s money to tide her over. When an unbelievable opportunity crosses her path, she takes it and thus begins her journey through a nightmare that should never have happened. Betrayal had run rampant in Alice’s life, but the ultimate betrayal almost led her to jail. What a great read! This book kicked off with a bang and the fireworks continued to the shocking conclusion. This well-written, action-packed drama led us on a chase with plenty of twist and turns that kept me riveted to the pages. The suspenseful plot moved the story from one scene to the next leaving me with bated breath as I watch this strong heroine rise above everything to find the truth and clear her name. This was a brilliantly-crafted and awesome read that left me wanting more.
212 by Alafair Burke is the third book in the “Ellie Hatcher” thriller series. Publisher: HarperCollins, March 2010
When New York University sophomore Megan Gunther finds personal threats posted to a Web site specializing in campus gossip, she’s taken aback by their menacing tone. Someone knows her daily routine down to the minute and is watching her—but thanks to the anonymity provided by the Internet, the police tell her there’s nothing they can do. Her friends are sure it’s someone’s idea of a joke, but when Megan is murdered in a vicious attack, NYPD Detective Ellie Hatcher is convinced that the online threats are more than just empty words.
With smooth, straight-talking partner J. J. Rogan at her side, Ellie tries to identify Megan’s enemies, but she begins to wonder if the coed’s murder was more than just the culmination of a cyber obsession. Phone records reveal a link between Megan and a murdered real estate agent who was living a dangerous double life. The detectives also learn that the dead real estate agent shared a secret connection to a celebrity mogul whose bodyguard was mysteriously killed a few months earlier. And when Megan’s roommate suddenly disappears, they know they have to find her before another young woman dies.
Exposing the darkness that lurks beneath the glamorous surface of New York City, 212 delivers yet another “knuckle-biting journey that’ll keep you turning pages until the very end” (Faye Kellerman).
What a thrilling ride to take that kept the pages turning to see who was the killer. Three people murdered who seemingly have no connection until Ellie and Rogan worked the puzzle and the pieces fell into place. When the dust was settled, many lives were destroyed in the name of love. I’m so sorry to see this story end because I have to wait another year to for Ellie’s return. My rating: 5 stars
Angel’s Tip by Alafair Burke is the second book in the “Ellie Hatcher” thriller series. Publisher: HarperCollins, August 2008
In a city full of victims . . . it’s hard to choose just one.
Fresh-faced Indiana college student Chelsea Hart is so excited to spend the final hours of her spring break in the VIP room of an elite New York City club that she remains behind when her girlfriends call it a night. The next morning, as her concerned friends anxiously pace their hotel lobby, joggers find Chelsea’s body in East River Park, her wavy blond hair brutally hacked off.
NYPD Detective Ellie Hatcher catches the case and homes in on the group of privileged men who were last seen plying Chelsea with free-flowing alcohol. But before she can even gather the preliminary evidence, the gruesome murder is grabbing headlines and drawing unwanted media attention to the department. So when Ellie builds a tight case against Jake Myers, a young hedge fund manager, the department brass and the district attorney’s office are elated: the case will soon be cleared, the media will tout the department’s quick work, and Ellie will be a dream witness at the trial against Myers.
But Ellie has her doubts. Chelsea’s murder is eerily similar to three other deaths that occurred nearly a decade ago: the victims were young, female, and in each case, the killer had taken her hair as a souvenir.
Ellie’s investigation pulls her into a late-night world of exclusive clubs, conspicuous wealth, and hedonistic consumption. And her search for the truth not only pits her against her fellow cops but also places her under the watchful eye of a psychopath eager to add the prideful young female detective to his list.
Homicide Detective Ellie and her partner are after the person who is killing young women who are enjoying the nightlife. Ellie makes a connection with a case that happened 10 years ago and now it is a race against time to catch this serial killer before Ellie becomes the next and final victim. This thriller will keep you turning pages.