I have been meaning to read Alafair Burke's books for a while and I am delighted that I took the plunge with 212, part of the Ellie Hatcher series about a young, smart and brave NYPD homicide detective. This is a fast paced and intriguing mystery loosely based on actual events but woven into a page-turning plot that is as good as most of the top crime thrillers I have read this year.
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 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, she 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.