book review: Angel's Tip by Alafair Burke

The backstory: Angel's Tip is the second mystery in Alafair Burke's Ellie Hatcher series, after Dead Connection (my review).

The basics: When Ellie Hatcher discovers the murdered body of Chelsea Hart, an Indiana college student who was visiting New York City with her friends, during her morning run, she takes the case as her own.

My thoughts: After liking but not loving Dead Connection, I was curious what Angel's Tip would bring. I was pleasantly surprised to find a fantastic mystery as well as an impressive amount of character development for Ellie Hatcher. As the novel opens, some time has passed since the end of Dead Connection. Immediately, this time allows for Ellie to step out of some of the lingering shadows from the last novel and embrace her new promotion to a homicide detective. The reader jumps right into her new normal, and readers who didn't read Dead Connection could still enjoy this mystery.

What often seems to be a contrived plot: a case impacting a detective personally and professionally, is original here. As the more and more gruesome details about a serial killer emerge, the intensity of this mystery also ramps up. The glimpses inside the mind of the killer have a Criminal Minds level of intensity. A sense of foreboding takes over this mystery, but it's conclusion is an adrenaline rush.

Favorite passage:  "Ellie’s father used to say that was the worst part of the job—the knowledge that good people would forever remember your voice, your words, that one phone call, as the moment that changed everything."

The verdict: Angel's Tip is an intense, gritty, police procedural. The mystery is twisting and intriguing, and Burke develops the character of Ellie personally and professionally. This fast-paced, surprising mystery wowed me, and I'm already eagerly awaiting 212, the next Ellie Hatcher mystery.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5
Length: 366 pages
Publication date: August 19, 2008
Source: purchased for my Kindle

Convinced? Treat yourself! Buy Angel's Tip from the Book Depository or Amazon (Kindle version--only $6.99!)

Also by Alafair Burke: the Samantha Kincaid series (Judgment Calls, Missing Justice, and Close Case) plus the stand-alone thriller Long Gone.

As an affiliate, I receive a small commission when you make a purchase through any of the above links. Thank you for helping to support my book habits that bring more content to this blog!


  1. Barnes and Nobel gave one of this author's books as a free Friday book. I still haven't read it, but I'm glad to know that you have given this one such high praise.

  2. Oooh -- I wasn't so intrigued after seeing reviews of the first book but if Burke is growing as a writer -- and her character -- maybe I need to hop on!


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