- Hardcover: 368 pages
- Publisher: Harper; 1 edition (March 23 2010)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0061561223
- ISBN-13: 978-0061561221
- Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 3 x 22.9 cm
- Shipping Weight: 522 g
- Average Customer Review: 3 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #931,658 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
212: A Novel Hardcover – Mar 23 2010
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“The plot of an Alafair Burke thriller doesn’t just rip from the headlines. She’s one step ahead of them. 212 scares you and keeps you turning the pages into the wee hours.” (Harlan Coben)
“Burke’s prose is clear and fast, and every move by investigators and officers of the court is the real deal. She explores genuine contemporary questions in a revealing and thoughtful way.... Her plot is always dynamic and intelligent. 212 is engineered to wring double-whammy suspense out of credible peril.” (Katherine Dunn, Portland Oregonian)
“Starts the suspense on the very first page and doesn’t stop until the last sentence. . . . Hatcher and Rogan are a dream team, their relationship the ideal of what every partnership should be. It’s a wonderfully fulfilling book.” (Romantic Times (Top Pick, 4 ½ stars))
“White-knuckle thriller. . . . 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.” (Publishers Weekly)
“The story is not merely ‘ripped from the headlines’; Burke starts with these themes and makes them her own…. Pleasingly complex, with multiple suspects and surprising twists. The characters are richly drawn, and Burke’s prose is as precise as the Glock pistol that Ellie carries…. A page-turner. (Associated Press)
“A fast-paced thriller featuring an appealingly current angle, dynamic characters, and a spiderweb of possibilities she manages to leave tied up neatly. Strongly recommended for public libraries, especially where thrillers are popular.” (Library Journal)
“Up-to-the-minute, action-packed crime fiction.” (Michele Leber, Booklist)
From the Back Cover
In New York City, Nights Are Dangerous. Days Are Numbered.
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).See all Product description
Top customer reviews
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212 features recurring lead character Ellie Hatcher, an NYPD Detective. In 212 Ellie and her partner Rogan catch a homicide in a penthouse belonging to one of the city's wealthiest men. Although he claims no knowledge of how and why his bodyguard was using the suite, he seems to be trying to control the direction of Ellie's investigation. As does the judge involved....
Rogan and Ellie catch a second murder case. A young college student had previously complained to the police about anonymous online threats directed at her. Those threats escalated - to murder. As they dive into their latest case, the detectives discover a link between the two murders. One that someone doesn't want found...
Ellie is a great protagonist. She smart, tough, dogged and determined. The partnership between her and Rogan works - they're quite opposite personalities. I enjoyed the secondary story lines featuring her brother Jess (a dark horse I'm sure we'll hear more about) and Ellie's love life. The dialogue flows easily and the cases are realistic and not cut and dried. It was only on reading the author notes at the back, that I discovered the ideas for this book did indeed spring from newspaper headlines. That note of reality also springs from Burke's background. She herself is a former prosecutor and now teaches criminal law.
212 was a really good read and a series I will now be following. ( But I had no problem reading 212 as a stand alone.) I'll also be checking out the other series Burke pens featuring Portland Deputy District Attorney Samantha Kincaid
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.
Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
I am familiar with her work with Mary Higgins Clark, so I knew this author was worth the read. She is an extremely good author on her own also.
Can't wait to read the next book . Recommend her books to everyone !!!!!
As usual, Burke does a good job of building suspense, and sending Hatcher--and thus the reader--down several wrong paths. Inter iced with the narrative are just enough insights into Hatcher, and a couple of the other characters, to ensure we care about what happens to them.
Two complaints: First, the dark story is, in the end, balanced by an overly mushy monologue by Hatcher about the goodness in people.
Second, there are two small factual errors, which should have been caught by an editor.
(1) p. 340: Baltimore is a strange city in that unlike every other city in the country, it is NOT part of Baltimore County. Thus in most cities, the city police and the county prosecutor would work together, they do not in Baltimore. Hatcher makes this common error.
(2) p. 414: AMC made the Pacer car, not GMC.
Neither make the slightest difference to the plot, but still...
The story starts with the murder of bodyguard Robert Robo Mancini, whose bullet-ridden corpse turns up in a luxury apartment in a top of the market building, the "212". Mancini worked for Manhattan property tycoon Sam Sparks who lets his trusted employees and friends use the apartment from time to time. The 911 call comes from an unknown female and there are no clues about how she can be found. During the investigation Ellie and her partner get interested in how the apartment has been used and asks a judge court for permission to pursue the accounts of Sparkes' business. Accidentally Ellie gets on the wrong side of the judge and spends a night in the cells.
Ellie and her detective partner then investigate the lives and deaths of part-time high class call girls and the story twists and turns unexpectedly as the lives of the call girls get connected with the original murder. While she makes some mistakes, Ellie is a top-class investigator who keeps on working the case until she discovers the truth.
I will certainly be reading more books in this series and adding Alafair Burke to my list of favourite authors.