Novice NYPD Det. Ellie Hatcher worked low-level robberies until she was whisked to the homicide division and plunged neck-deep into a series of killings in this addictive thriller.
Kansas native Ellie becomes a cop after following trouble-prone brother Jess to the Big Apple. The daughter of a slain police officer, Ellie remains haunted by his death and his department’s refusal to classify it as a homicide at the hands of a serial killer he was investigating. Soon she’s picked to partner on a murder case with Det. Flann McIlroy, known for his maverick techniques. McIlroy is after the killer of Louisiana transplant Amy Davis. McIlroy believes Amy’s killer has struck before and will do so again. Amy was brutally strangled outside her apartment, and her pocket carries a clue placed by the killer—one that leads investigators to an Internet dating service called FirstDate. They soon determine Amy isn’t the only murder victim with a FirstDate connection. Beautiful writer Caroline Hunter, killed exactly one year before Amy, joined FirstDate to research a book on online romances. Ellie and Flann must dig deep into the past lives of four dead women, and in doing so, they attract the attention of the FBI. But the federal agency seems curiously bent on blocking their murder probe, especially Agent Charlie Dixon and his supervisor. Forbidden love, a retired cop, Russian gangsters and secrets from the victims’ pasts converge in Burke’s intricately-plotted, fast-paced fourth (Close Case, 2005, etc.). The attractive Ellie makes for a flawed but likeable heroine—smart, good with details, but ultimately capable of an error with devastating consequences.
Holds the reader’s attention from first word to last, and begs for a sequel.