Hatcher and Rogan, a pair of New York City’s finest. A pair of detectives to keep your eyes on if you like thrillers.
It’s a wet May night when Ellie Hatcher and JJ Rogan get the call: Gunshots reported at a penthouse condo in an upscale building identified as 212. They find a dead man in the bullet-riddled master bedroom. The victim was a bodyguard for the apartment owner, well-known mogul Sam Sparks.
Four months later, the detectives are still working on the case. They can feel they’re making headway, but things just don’t add up. Sparks has done little to help their investigation, possibly even hampering their progress. He is just the kind of arrogant rich guy that sets Hatcher’s teeth on edge. And when they go before Judge Bandon to compel a little cooperation from Sparks, they find themselves puzzled by the judge’s stubborn refusal to help. Are they paranoid, or is everyone working against them?
So much time passes before Hatcher and Rogan can solve the bodyguard’s murder that they are assigned another homicide, this time of a New York University sophomore named Megan Gunther. The young woman’s parents are furious. Just the day before, their daughter was pleading for help from the police. The office sent them away, saying nothing could be done about the threats made against her on a campus website. Hatcher fights the interruption, believing that she and Rogan are poised on the brink of finding the answers they so desperately need. Plus, she wants to find out what Sparks is hiding. But she changes her attitude when it begins to look like there are some parallels between the cases. All they have to do is put the puzzle together to see how the pieces fit. Easier said than done. Thoroughly frustrated, Hatcher keeps repeating: We’re missing something. Indeed, they are.
Hatcher comes from a cop family. She thrives on the job, working hard to prove she has what it takes, but she also has a soft side. Her emotions haven’t been dulled by the job. Actually, they might even give her an edge. Her empathy for the victims shows how very much she cares, instead of merely following the letter of the law, although sometimes her passion can get her into hot water. Fortunately, Rogan complements her as a good partner should, especially when the stakes are so very high. And the stakes don’t get much higher than on the streets of New York.
The tension ratchets up as yet another woman falls prey to the killer. What do all the victims have in common? And why is it so difficult to find the connection? Hatcher and Rogan do figure it out, but not before some serious damage is done and a long-standing secret is revealed. How many people must die to keep it from coming out?
Alafair Burke has been writing thrillers for many years, but she has outdone herself with the heart-pounding 212. While Ellie Hatcher and JJ Rogan have worked a couple of cases in the past, we’ve never seen them tackle cases like the ones detailed here. Set aside a few hours, and prepare for your neck hairs to stand on end.
Reviewed by Kate Ayers on December 22, 2010