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.
212 is steeped in the details of the crossroads between technology and prurience and proves once again that Alafair Burke “knows when and how to drop clues to keep readers at her mercy.”
A funny story about 212. I had Angel’s Tip (the 2nd in the Ellie Hatcher series) on my bookshelf, but ran across this one (the third) and loved the description so downloaded it. I never do that. I always read a series from the beginning, but broke my rule this time. I hadn’t yet read it when I streamed through Netflix the movie In the Electric Mist which is based on James Lee Burke’s novel In the Electric Mist with Confederate Dead. In the movie, Dave Robicheaux, Burke’s long running character, is talking to his daughter Alafair. And I was like, wait a minute. Alafair? Burke? I thought the author Alafair Burke had coined the name as a tribute, when in fact she is his daughter, heh. I can be so thick sometimes.
Anyhow, I liked this one a lot. There are multiple plots, well-layered, and tied together nicely at the end. I love thrillers and suspense novels that do that. I also really enjoyed Burke’s obvious familiarity with NYC. It’s so easy to tell when an author is intimately at home with her book’s setting. There are small bits and pieces one picks up when living in a city that no amount of research will ever reveal.
Ellie Hatcher and J.J. Rogan are great together as partners. They rank up there with Jack Kersley’s Carson Ryder and Harry Nautilus, and Tana French’s Rob Ryan and Cassie Maddox. I love love love good detective teams, especially when they butt heads (as all these teams do). As with Coben’s Caught, in 212, Burke pulls no punches. Bad stuff happens, but every bit of it serves the story. I can recommend this one without any reservations. Good stuff.