AUTHOR: ALAFAIR BURKE
Details: no. 3 Ellie Hatcher
Published as "212" in the USA
Detective Ellie Hatcher and her partner J.J. Rogan are told to put the investigation into the murder of one of the bodyguards of a celebrity entrepreneur more or less on the backburner after Ellie finds herself getting on the wrong side of both the entrepreneur and a judge. Although Ellie resents this action by her superior officer, her mind is soon on other matters as they are called to the scene of the murder of a young student. An attack during which the girl’s house-mate was seriously injured.
It turns out that the student had been the victim of cyber-stalking prior to her murder and our investigators seem to have a choice of possible scenarios to investigate.
When soon afterwards a young estate agent is murdered and a link is discovered between her and the student, the investigation hits yet another direction. And when the injured woman disappears from hospital and vanishes, the race is on to discover the reason behind the murders in order to prevent further bloodshed. When the estate agent is also linked to the celebrity entrepreneur it seems that all cases are connected, if only Ellie could figure out how exactly.
This was one fabulous thriller.
Ellie is an interesting and likeable character who really came to live for me on the pages of this book. The mysteries in this book were well plotted and anything but obvious while the solution was credible and completely consistent with the clues given in the story.
Often a mystery author tries to set you on the wrong track with hints that are so obvious that the reader knows they have to be false. In this book there were several occasions when I did draw the wrong conclusions, but they were down to my own line of reasoning, and not to clear attempts by the author to throw me off scent.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m sure Alafair Burke put those red-herrings in on purpose. I just appreciate the fact she wasn’t obvious about it.
I do wonder if I would have figured the solution out sooner if I had been familiar with the real-life cases Burke based this story on. Since I don’t live in the US and have only minor knowledge of the news there, that is a question I can’t answer though.
What I do know is that I want to read more about Ellie Hatcher and the cases she solves and that I’m delighted that there is a fourth instalment in this series on the way next year.