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212: A Novel (Ellie Hatcher) Hardcover – March 23, 2010

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Product Details

  • Series: Ellie Hatcher
  • Hardcover: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Harper; 1 edition (March 23, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061561223
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061561221
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.2 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (78 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,781,108 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Burke's third white-knuckle thriller finds NYPD Det. Ellie Hatcher (after Angel's Tip) and her partner, J.J. Rogan, investigating the murder of NYU student Megan Gunther, who's the target of threatening posts on a college gossip Web site. The death of bodyguard Robert Robo Mancini, whose bullet-ridden corpse turns up in a swanky new building, the 212, built by Sam Sparks, the high-powered Manhattan real-estate developer Robo worked for, ups the ante. When Sam makes it clear that the police won't have access to any company records, Ellie's interest is piqued. As she and J.J. try to piece together Megan's life, they discover a link between the student and a recently murdered real estate agent. With her usual tenacity, Ellie pursues leads that put both her career and her life at risk. Burke expertly weaves real-life headlines into her plot—particularly the Craig's List Killer and the slew of recent political scandals—without ever sacrificing originality. (Apr.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

When a bodyguard is killed in the Manhattan penthouse owned by his billionaire boss, Sam Sparks, the case gets under Detective Ellie Hatcher’s skin. But she has to set aside this unsolved crime—and her suspicions of Sparks, which land her a contempt charge and a night in jail—to investigate the murder of an NYU coed, who was being harassed online, and her roommate. Then a real-estate agent who moonlights as a call girl is found murdered after being tortured in a first-class hotel, and Hatcher and partner J. J. Rogan find a common thread in what seem unrelated cases. In the third in the Ellie Hatcher series (after Dead Connection, 2007, and Angel’s Tip, 2008), Burke skillfully portrays her protagonist’s relationships—with victims’ families and persons of interest; with her partner; with her female boss, Liuetentant Robin Tucker; and, especially with ADA Max Donovan, whose love provides her only respite from the work with which she’s obsessed. Up-to-the-minute, action-packed crime fiction from the daughter of James Lee Burke. --Michele Leber

More About the Author

Alafair Burke is the author of "two power house series" (Sun-Sentinel) that have earned her a reputation for creating strong, believable, and eminently likable female characters, such as NYPD Detective Ellie Hatcher and Portland Deputy District Attorney Samantha Kincaid. Alafair's novels grow out of her experience as a prosecutor in America's police precincts and criminal courtrooms, and have been featured by The Today Show, People Magazine, The New York Times, MSNBC, The Washington Post, USA Today, and The Chicago Sun-Times. Dennis Lehane has called her "one of the finest young crime writers working today."

A graduate of Stanford Law School and a former Deputy District Attorney in Portland, Oregon, Alafair is now a Professor of Law at Hofstra Law School, where she teaches criminal law and procedure.

She lives in New York City and spends too much time on Facebook and Twitter, but has no plans to quit.

Learn more about Alafair at www.alafairburke.com

Customer Reviews

She will keep you guessing to the very end!
Kimberlee Apryl Smith
The entire Ellie Hatcher series has been great and entertaining, I'm looking forward to the next book in the series!
Amazon Customer
The main characters were well developed and likable.
NOMAD lady

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

35 of 39 people found the following review helpful By J. Forbus on March 30, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Ellie Hatcher is back with a vengeance. A vengeance that lands her butt squarely in jail. Smart, independent Ellie Hatcher proves to the world everyday that she's far more than a pretty face. She can "bring home the bacon and fry it up in a pan." She juggles her job, her older brother Jess, Assistant District Attorney Max Donovan, even her mother back in Wichita. And while she may not be as hip as her brother would like, she still manages to do it all with panache.

Burke's work is the epitome of art imitating life. Her plot lines are "ripped from the headlines;" the characters and dialogue are infused with pop culture; and she brings to life the New York City she so loves. 212 has no shortage of Burke's signature wit, which often comes out in her crisp, commanding dialogue. Ellie's exchanges with both her brother Jess and her partner J.J. could walk off the pages they are so believable. Burke's strengths are numerous, but her dialogue is quite possibly my favorite. Conversation is clear, it's sharp, it's witty. When a reader believes the dialogue, he/she believes the characters delivering it. For my money, no one does this better than Alafair Burke.

The complexity of 212's plot is carefully balanced. Burke peals back layer after layer, creating numerous unexpected twists throughout the book. But the twists never go over the top, nor do they become too numerous for belief. Instead the keep the reader gripped to the pages. I tried to slowly savor this book, but the plot simply wouldn't let me.

In addition, the plot of 212, like each of Burke's previous novels, reflects current events. But more than that, it examines some hefty "why" questions that are floating around these current events as well.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Eric Wilson TOP 1000 REVIEWER on May 8, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Alafair Burke gains greater depth with each novel. In this third Ellie Hatcher story, we find the erstwhile NYPD detective from Witchita involved in a complicated murder case that leads her and her partner J.J. Rogan into the intricacies of escort services and the high-profile clients those services often entangle.

Borrowing from recent headlines without ever copying them--or, for that matter, telegraphing her intentions to the reader--Burke gives us a fast-paced mystery. Ellie and Rogan think they are nearing the truth about one particular murder at 212 Lafayette in the 212 area code of Manhattan, when things get murkier from another murder, this time of an NYU college girl. More will die before the plot twists to its final knot, and Burke does a fine job of going deeper into Ellie's character and her relationships with her brother, partner, and lover. She also creates a plausible scenario that is not all that it seems. There are a few pages near the end where antagonists conveniently spout off all the info Ellie needs to tie things together, but this is a longtime characteristic of mystery novels.

Yes, this is more mystery than thriller (ala Harlan Coben and Linwood Barclay), but the use of multiple viewpoints helps ratchet the intrigue throughout. Burke continues to grow into a fine mystery writer, and this is her best yet.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Ted Feit VINE VOICE on May 22, 2010
Format: Hardcover
There's a rumor going around that an ex- New York Governor, who resigned amid a sex scandal, is being considered for an hour-long CNN program. The wags are pointing out that it would be a switch: This time he would be paid by the hour instead of forking over money to a working girl for services. Then, of course, there were a former President and a certain southern Governor also involved in sex scandals.

Of course there is nothing new about the sex trade; just look back to the Bible and Mary Magdalene or David and Bathsheba. But the topic is timely. Just consider the murder of a Boston woman who advertised her "services" on Craig's list about the time the manuscript for the present novel was submitted. Such a topic plays an important role in helping Ellie Hatcher and her partner, J.J. Rogan, to solve at least three murders in this well-written police procedural.

The novel moves forward, with either one or the other of the two detectives uncovering possible facts or motives in a confusing array of clues, each raising different theories until the pieces finally fall into place. The author utilizes her deep knowledge of the legal system, pitting it against a contemporary issue, to create an absorbing story line, replete with all the necessary twists to keep the reader turning pages. With characterizations to match.

Highly recommended.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Lorraine Dusky on July 3, 2010
Format: Hardcover
The intricate plot weaves in a lot of detail about the scene--about how the sex-trade works, the urban landscape of Manhattan, cops, real estate, rich folks and bars where cops hang out. She makes them all very real, like someone you would know if you were a detective. I will admit that I thought I had figured out a plot point only to be foiled and pleasantly surprised at the end. By taking stories from the news and reworking them to suit her story, she keeps the plot fresh, her main characters smart and savvy.

This is my first Alafair Burke book. It won't be my last. First-rate entertainment for all mystery fans.
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