Category Archives: reviews

More NBC love for LONG GONE

Last weekend, Today Show book critic John Searles called LONG GONE “the one book you cannot put down this summer.”

Now Harlan Coben has included LONG GONE in his top summer book recommendations for the show: “a page turner from a major talent!” We already loved Harlan Coben in this house, so now we may have to name July 7 after him or something.

See the full list, courtesy of Harlan and the wonderful Jennifer Weiner, here.

New Review for 212

It’s nice to know people are still reading 212. Today, a new review from the Chicago-Sun Times. I choose to believe it’s a good one:  “This has an urgent tone and a pell-mell pace, and I totally believe that Burke has been inside the system and knows its quirks.  …[H]er storytelling is clean and unbothered by pretensions.”  Read the review here.

New Reviews for 212

“Burke’s new outing featuring this young female detective quickly proves to be better than anything Burke has put out before.  Actually, her realistic dialogue, her detailed descriptions of New York City’s vivacious vibe and pulse, and her ability to provide unending suspense makes this one of the year’s best across the board.  This is simply how a police procedural should be done … Full of dirty secrets and the repercussions that result when trying to hide them, this comes highly recommended as a nonstop tale of suspense that races without pause to its satisfying ending.” – New Mystery Reader

“There is more than one murder in ‘212’ and Burke heightens the suspense- and poignance- by making the victims as three dimensional as the other characters.” – Connecticut Post

“Alafair Burke has been writing thrillers for many years, but she has outdone herself with the heart-pounding 212…Set aside a few hours, and prepare for your neck hairs to stand on end.” – Bookreporter

“Do yourself a favor and read 212. You will not be disappointed.” – Mysteries Galore

Two New Reviews for 212

From the Hartford Advocate:

“Burke deftly plants mysteries within mysteries, deceptions within deceptions, strong identities within big-city anonymity. Interactions and exchanges happen organically — through strident Web posts or fraught inquiries into unorthodox murders. Burke, like all mystery writers, lives for the coincidences that end up connecting unrelated threads of a detective’s investigation. At the same time, unlike a lot of too-precise crimewriters, she realizes that sometimes a stranger is just a stranger, and that certain tensions are evoked just to set a scene, not necessarily to explode into a major incident. Since she allows for leisure, wrong-turns and exasperation, Burke genuinely keeps the reader guessing.

“Above all, Burke’s work has a hopefulness and optimism — a passion — that’s rare in thrillers. She doesn’t mock the many romantic illusions she conjures up among her characters, especially the victims. She seems genuinely sorry things don’t work out better for these fragile souls, and in the best traditions of detective fiction, she seeks justice.”

And from SmartMoney:

“Alafair Burke’s new novel is an up-to-the-minute thriller that explores love and death in the digital age… [A] classic tale of suspense set in the modern age.”

Makes me want to read this one!

New Review from Katherine Dunn

I’m always happy to get a review, especially when it’s good, but I was delighted to discovery today that author Katherine Dunn (Geek Love) reviewed 212 as a special contribution to the Oregonian.  And she liked it:

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. … “212” is engineered to wring double-whammy suspense out of credible peril.

Reed the full review here.

Launch Day

212 officially hits shelves today.  This is the sixth time I’ll see a new book of mine in stores, and I still get all tingly.  If I’m lucky enough to get to book number sixty, I hope you’ll all kick my butt if I ever stop appreciating the opportunity to share my stories with you.  I hope you enjoy 212.

In a nice start to the morning, the Associated Press has wonderful things to say about the book:

The plot is 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…. The book is a page-turner, but Burke has more than entertainment in mind. This third novel in the Ellie Hatcher series explores culture clash between the superrich and the rest of us, considers the societal cost of the increasing commercialization of sex, and explores computer technology both as a source of mischief and as a tool for criminals and the public servants who investigate them.

More than that, “212” is a story about love — what it looks like at its best and its worst and how it seduces people into behaving in ways that are both noble and abhorrent.

Two New Interviews and a Review

The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review has only good things to say about 212:

Alafair’s Burke’s “212” is a smart take on the thriller genre, with the author nimbly juggling multiple plot elements including techno stalking and powerful men entangled in sex scandals. But what’s best about the Burke’s work is her characters. Notably, NYPD detective Ellie Hatcher is a fresh riff on the troubled detective: brainy but vulnerable and refreshingly open about her failings.

Read the interview that accompanies the review here.

Also this morning, friend, fellow author, and co-blogger Toni McGee Causey was good enough to interview me over at Murderati.  Read the piece here.

212 is a Romantic Times Top Pick!

Romantic Times goes beyond genre labels, reviewing mysteries, thrillers, sci-fi, and fantasy.  RT Book Reviews has selected 212 as a Top Pick:

Burke’s third book in the Ellie Hatcher and JJ Rogan series starts the suspense of the very first page and doesn’t stop until the last sentence.  The plot spins off into different directions, each one helping to bring about a satisfying and unexpected ending.  Hatcher and Rogan are a dream team, their relationship the ideal of what every partnership should be.  It’s a wonderfully fulfilling book. (4.5 stars).

More Good News


With each book, I cross my fingers and hold my breath as I wait for the influential Publishers Weekly review. I’m delighted to report that 212 has PW’s stamp of approval:

Burke’s third white-knuckle thriller finds NYPD Det. Ellie Hatcher (after Angel’s Tip) and her partner, J.J. Rogan, investigating the murder of NYU student Megan Gunther, who’s the target of threatening posts on a college gossip Web site. The death of bodyguard Robert “Robo” Mancini, whose bullet-ridden corpse turns up in a swanky new building, the 212, built by Sam Sparks, the high-powered Manhattan real-estate developer Robo worked for, ups the ante. When Sam makes it clear that the police won’t have access to any company records, Ellie’s interest is piqued. As she and J.J. try to piece together Megan’s life, they discover a link between the student and a recently murdered real estate agent. With her usual tenacity, Ellie pursues leads that put both her career and her life at risk. 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.

First Reviews of 212! So far, so good…

Even when I’m finished writing a book, it doesn’t immediately feel “real.” The story has a beginning, middle, and that all-important end, but I’ve lived with the ideas and characters so long in my head that those pages still feel like they belong only to me. Even as the edits are made, the title is finalized, and blurbs are landed, the book is like a house still under construction – exciting, full of potential, but still a figment of the imagination.

But then something wonderful happens. Other people — human beings who aren’t related to me or work for my publisher — read it, and the book finally becomes real by creating a story in the minds of readers. And those first readers, for better or worse, are called reviewers.

I’m pleased to say that the early reviews of 212 have been fantastic:

“The latest installment of … Burke’s Ellie Hatcher series is 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.” – Library Journal

“Burke skillfully portrays her protagonist’s relationships—with victims’ families and persons of interest; with her partner; with her female boss, Liuetentant Robin Tucker; and, especially with ADA Max Donovan…. Up-to-the-minute, action-packed crime fiction.” – Booklist

“212 is one heck of a thrill ride… An intense story that will keep you reading way past your bedtime. And when it’s over, it will leave you begging for more.” — Lori’s Reading Corner.


Many of you have been supporting me and my work for years by reading and even spreading the word to your friends and family. I’m so thankful for your continued interest in my books, but, piggie that I am, I have the nerve to ask you to help Team Alafair once again. If you will be purchasing 212 (and I hope you will), please pre-order from your preferred bookseller. Pre-orders are a sign of reader interest: The more pre-orders, the higher the “buzz.” It’s rough out there, folks. Your support means the world to me.

You can pre-order 212 at Barnes & Noble, Amazon, Borders, or your favorite indie. As always, if you order through one of the bookstores on the 212 tour, I look forward to inscribing and signing your books personally. Lean more about 212 here.