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Book Review: Angel’s Tip by Alafair Burke

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When new homocide detective Ellie Hatcher takes her usual early morning jog with her brother, Jess, they stumble right over a murder victim. Chelsea Hart, a beautiful blond Indiana college student, has been dumped there in East River Park with her hair weirdly chopped off.

As the first detective on the scene, Ellie takes charge. Her find, her case. She calls her new partner, J.J. Rogan, and together they begin to put together the pieces of this seemingly random crime. Attractive college girl, in town with two girlfriends for spring break, plucked from a trendy nightclub after a night of partying.

It is surprisingly easy to find the murderer, the man Chelsea was seen dancing with at the club until three in the morning. He's the obvious choice, plus his record is not spotless. Easy. Maybe too easy, Ellie thinks. Too bad she is the only one with second thoughts. Everyone else is happy they got the guy, case closed.

But Ellie gets a call from a man whose daughter was murdered years ago. He's had a dream about his daughter and he thinks she is trying to tell him something. Maybe the two crimes are connected.

Well, he must be a nut, right? Probably. Ellie pulls his daughter's case anyway. And the biggest similarity, the only thing not released in the press, is something about the hair. Ellie becomes convinced that there is no way the suspect they have could be the right one – he is too young, and there are more similar cases that stretch back too far. A serial killer who has been at work for years. Can she and Rogan figure out who is the real murderer before it's too late… for Ellie, herself?

Alafair Burke has a winner in the character of Ellie Hatcher. She is quick, sharp, smart, endearing and fun. I enjoyed the development of the new relationship between Ellie and Rogan. Angel's Tip flew by, the pages practically turning themselves as the suspense built up. The Manhattan setting is perfectly evoked and the author's knowledge of the world of the New York Police Department added believability to the story. This is a talented author and I look forward to her next exciting installment!

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