From Publishers Weekly
Putting feisty DA Samantha Kincaid on hold after three novels (Close
Case, etc.), Burke introduces a disappointingly dull heroine in 30-year-old
NYPD detective Ellie Hatcher. Flamboyant homicide detective Flann McIlroy asks outspoken Ellie to assist in looking into the First Date case, a series of murders seemingly connected by the female victims' subscription to an online-dating site. Flann is relying on curvy Ellie as date bait, but also hopes that Ellie's past might help with the case: Ellie's father, a Wichita, Kans., cop, died under mysterious circumstances soon after bringing an infamous local serial killer, the College Hill Strangler, to justice. As Ellie and Flann dig deeper into the shady history of the dating site—and its potential link to the Russian mafia—Ellie realizes that the killer is taunting her just as the College Hill Strangler taunted her father. Ellie's character never quite gels, however, and her interactions with the suspects don't provide enough tension or heat to keep pages turning all the way through. (July)
New York City is worlds away from Ellie Hatcher's childhood home of Wichita, Kansas. While the rookie detective has come to feel at home in Manhattan, memories of her late father, a career Kansas police officer, remain in her mind. While his death was ruled a suicide, Ellie knows in her heart that Jerry Hatcher was yet another victim of the serial killer he worked so tirelessly to catch. As the novel opens, Ellie takes a special assignment with the NYPD homicide division to pursue a psychopath who preys on single women searching for love online. She must navigate a brave new cyberworld where personal lives are laid bare with the click of a mouse. This is the first stand-alone for Burke, author of three novels in the Samantha Kincaid series. Though she possesses many of the prose gifts of her father, acclaimed mystery writer James Lee Burke, the author here suffers from too many plot threads and enough characters for two books. Still, too much of a good thing is better than not enough.
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