Three years ago, I enrolled in an online dating service. There I found my husband, the plot of Dead Connection, and a New York City Detective named Ellie Hatcher.
I wasnt looking for a book, but each time I opened an anonymous yet anticipated e-mail, I found myself wondering why and how we choose to trust a stranger. I thought about the ways someone could manipulate the cautiously optimistic trust underlying each exchanged message. I imagined a man who dupes women using stolen identities and lies that his victims desperately want to believe.
As my now-husband says, only I would take the story of how we met and turn it into a crime novel . . .
The right narrator for that novel turned out to be NYPD Detective Ellie Hatcher. Although Ellie has been a detective for only a year, she has spent a life time thinking about crime solving. Her father was also a detective, and she watched as he spent years in a failed hunt for a serial killer in Wichita Kansas, where she was raised. Her father always told her, Find the motive, and the motive will lead you to the man. Consequently, Ellie has an insatiable but dangerous curiosity about human motives.
Dead Connection marks my first departure from the Samantha Kincaid series. Independent, tough, yet deeply vulnerable, Ellies a very different character from Samantha. Although both excel at their jobs in fields dominated by men, Ellie shoulders more responsibility in her life as a woman outside of work. She has a second job taking care of her family — long distance in the case of her mother, still living in Wichita, and on the couch of her living room in the case of her older brother, Jess. She has more at stake in her cases, the story surrounding her is faster paced, and the body count is certainly the highest Ive ever racked up.
I loved writing Dead Connection. It allowed me to integrate stories from my past and present — my childhood in Wichita, and my current life in New York City. It was an opportunity to explore the darker potential of an increasingly common dating experience that was so important in my own life. And it permitted me to create Ellie. I hope you enjoy getting to know her as much as I have.
The Ellie Hatcher Series – book sequence (from beginning)
All Day and a Night