Monday, June 25, 2012

Book Review - Dead Connection

Dead Connection by Alafair Burke
St. Martin's Press 2007

Format?  Nook book
Source?  I ordered this one from Barnes and Noble online bc I had a leftover giftcard...I so love the way I can own a book in a couple of seconds with one click.
Why?  I'm reviewing Angel's Tip, the 2nd Ellie Hatcher novel, on Tuesday, and I'm really weird about needing to read things in order.
What Now?  I'm ready for Angel's Tip!! I'm excited about Ellie Hatcher reading and may even check out Alafair Burke's other heroine, Samantha Kincaid :)  I've also recommended this to my middle daughter, who by choice is not a reader.  She's very into the computer end of things and is addicted to the tv show CSI.  I hope she'll give Dead Connection a chance.

Golden Lines

The man wondered if Caroline Hunter had any regrets as those two bullets tore through her body.  Maybe for some women it took dying in the street like a dog to reflect upon one's decisions and the effects they have on others.

The one and only time she'd received a surprise call from the police about a dead body, she had been fourteen years old, and the body had been her father's.

Witchita, Kansas, Roberta Hatcher was doing exactly what she did every night.  She was watching her shows on a console television set and pouring herself a vodka on the rocks from a bottle of Smirnoff that rested on the tray table next to her reclining chair.

Ellie let the whiskey warm her chest and stomach, untangling the knots she'd felt since Evelyn and Hampton Davis arrived at the precinct.  They were good people, but like a lot of parents, they knew nothing about their adult child.  They still saw her as a precocious little girl, an ingenue just out of college - not as a woman who was already lying about her age on an Internet dating site.  They were naive enough to believe their daughter would be safe forever.

Ellie was a woman who expected men to value the same things she did.  She expected men to want not just a lover, but a friend, a challenge, and an equal.  The problem, Jess always told her, wasn't in her expectations.  Plenty of men out there met them.  The problem was that Ellie, despite all her intuitive strengths, had absolutely no ability to distinguish the poseurs from the real thing.

So, that whole thing I just said about not being able to see you again?
"I think I remember that," Peter said, nodding.
"There's no reason our one night has to be over yet.  I've got a bit of a soft spot for Lifetime myself."

"A nice girl never goes to a man's house without her Kevlar."


Detective Ellie Hatcher's father Jerry was on the trail of a serial killer in Witchita, Kansas when he allegedly committed suicide. Ellie's mother was left with no pension, no safety net, and no hope, except for Ellie.  After moving to New York and falling in love with the city, Ellie decides to follow in her father's footsteps and try to rid the world of its injustices while fighting for her mother and brother Jess by proving that her father was actually murdered.
In the midst of this fight, Ellie is noticed by Homicide Detective Flann McIlroy who asks specifically for her help on a new case involving murdered women who have a connection with an online dating service called First
Ellie dives into the world of Internet dating and finds a killer who holds grudges and likes to play games, not just with his victims, and the Russian mob, but with her as well...all safely hidden away, untouchable it seems, behind his computer screen.

What I Liked

Ellie Hatcher - no whiner here, not perfect, but very responsible and a little OCD...when she gets going on something, she just can't put it down. 

Peter  - one of the most likeable romantic interests of a tough heroine in a long time...his humor, his honesty, his standoffishness and his maturity are all refreshing.

James Lee Burke connection - I've only read one other book by James Lee Burke, The Tin Roof Blowdown, but I'm such a doofus I didn't realize Alafair Burke was his daughter.  Now that in itself wouldn't have been "a Like" in my review, but at one point in the story Ellie makes a connection with James Lee Burke's male protagonist Dave Robicheaux...It's never fully mentioned, and if you don't know anything about James Lee Burkes' books, you won't catch it.  But, if you do, it's really a cool little strategy :) 

Speed - this was a fast read for me...I read it in just a few hours...but it was as enjoyable as watching a fast paced murder mystery on tv or in the movie theatre...I didn't feel like I was sitting there for a few hours...I just couldn't take my eyes off.  I never knew who the murderer was until Ellie realized it, and I almost dropped my Nook when she dropped her phone.  To say I was involved in this story would be an understatement. :)

What I Didn't Like

Fear factor - this one gave me the chills from time to time...and my teenagers keep asking me why all of a sudden I'm so worried about their Internet activities :/

Techie talk - there's a little bit of talk about cookies, IP addresses, etc. as you would certainly expect there to be in a case like this one.  I don't think it's over the top at all, but it's difficult for me to wrap my mind around just how easy it is for someone to hack into your computer...the technology is so beyond my comprehension...but is enough to scare the bejeebies out of me :(

Overall Recommendation

If you like a fast paced mystery/detective series with a gutsy heroine in the lead role, you'll like Ellie.  This one's about Internet hacking and the Russian mob too so put on your thinking caps :)


  1. Leftover gift card? I do not understand this concept. ;)

    As for the book, I'm really curious. I read her book Long Gone and thought it was absolutely, horribly written. BUT so many bloggers really like her and her books that I've contemplated giving her another try. Good to know this was a good one, though I'm a scaredy cat, so I might have to read it in daylight.

    1. LOL :) In all honesty, the leftover gift card was someone else's and I was just trying to wait the appropriate amount of time before "borrowing" it :)
      I've only read 2 of the Ellie Hatcher books so far so I don't know anything about the stand alones or other series yet...will be interesting to see the difference.

  2. I just read another book in this series....since I am not sure which number, I am not quite as set as you on reading them in order...and liked it. But I rather liked Long Gone too. Not as much as the Hatcher, but it was ok.

    1. I've just finished Angel's Tip and am reviewing it tomorrow for TLC. I have a feeling I'll immediately downloading more Alafair Burke :)