Monday, July 16, 2007

Pg. 69: Alafair Burke's "Dead Connection"

Today's feature at the Page 69 Test: Alafair Burke's Dead Connection.

About the book, from the author's website:
In this electrifying thriller, a rookie detective goes undercover on the Internet dating scene to draw out a serial killer targeting single women in Manhattan

When two young women are murdered on the streets of New York, exactly one year apart, Detective Ellie Hatcher is called up for a special assignment on the homicide task force. The killer has left behind a clue connecting the two cases to First Date, a popular online dating service, and Flann McIlroy, an eccentric, publicity-seeking homicide detective, is convinced that only Ellie can help him pursue his terrifying theory: someone is using the lure of the Internet and the promise of love to launch a killing spree against the women of New York City.

To catch the killer, Ellie must enter a high-tech world of stolen identities where no one is who they appear to be. And for her, the investigation quickly becomes personal: she fits the profile of the victims, and she knows firsthand what pursuing a sociopath can do to a cop -- back home in Wichita, Kansas, her father lost his life trying to catch a notorious serial murderer.

When the First Date killer begins to mimic the monster who destroyed her father, Ellie knows the game has become personal for him, too. Both hunter and prey, she must find the killer before he claims his next victim -- who could very well be her.
Among the early praise for Dead Connection:
"These are characters I'd follow forever! Dead Connection is a sleek and utterly riveting thriller that deserves every accolade it is sure to get."
--Tess Gerritsen, New York Times bestselling author of The Mephisto Club

"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."
--Kirkus Reviews

"Burke (criminal law, Hofstra Law Sch.) takes a break from her terrific Samantha Kincaid legal thriller series (Close Case) with this novel of Internet dating, murder, and high-tech mayhem.... This stunning thriller ends with a tantalizing glimpse into what is sure to be a highly anticipated sequel."
--Library Journal

"Alafair Burke is the author of the wonderful Samantha Kincaid series, and her stand-alone debut is every bit as good as the books that preceded it.... Intelligent, emotionally literate and unusually -- given the dark subject-matter -- funny, with strong characters and tight plotting, Dead Connection is a riveting read."
--The Guardian

"Pure, heart-pounding escapism ... Burke taps into a cultural hot-button issue: the increasing popularity of online dating sites and the very real possibility that the person you are connecting with is lying about who he/she is."
--USA Today, in a Top 5 summer thriller pick

"Alafair Burke delivers a first-rate thriller, as a rookie detective investigates the dark side of internet dating while trying to survive the mean streets of New York. Absolutely riveting."
--Lisa Gardner, author of Gone

"Alafair Burke proves her flair for creating compelling characters and a tricky plot in Dead Connection. Fans of detective fiction will enjoy young, complicated Ellie Hatcher as she willingly, frighteningly, plays victim, hoping to trap a killer."
--Perri O'Shaughnessy, author of Keeper of the Keys
A former deputy district attorney in Portland, Oregon, Alafair Burke now teaches criminal law at Hofstra Law School. She is a graduate of Stanford Law School and currently serves as a legal and trial commentator for radio and television programs, including Court TV. Her first three books feature Samantha Kincaid, a Deputy District Attorney in Portland.

Read more about Dead Connection, including an excerpt, at Alafair Burke's website, her MySpace page, and her Facebook page.

The Page 69 Test: Dead Connection.

--Marshal Zeringue