Alafair  Burke

Harper Hbk £12.99

Released: 23rd March 2010

Reviewer: Fiona Messenger


Fiona Messenger, or “honestfi“, is “probably” the biggest Mike Ripley Angel fan on the net, and the tablets don’t seem to be working. She tried therapy by writing a website www.thatangellook.co.uk, but that didn’t work either. By day she’s a Payroll Consultant, other times she blogs, she writes, she reads, she enjoys making people laugh.

Tanya Abbott reports a shooting at 212 Lafayette, NY, then disappears. The corpse is “Robo” who is a real estate mogul’s bodyguard. Ellie Hatcher is convinced that Sam Sparkes is involved, or was even the killer, and is charged with contempt of court when she voices her feelings out loud at a hearing. She is warned off, and forced to deal with two other cases:

Megan Gunther, a premed student at NYU reads threatening messages on the university’s intranet forum. Although she goes to the police with her fears, they are ignored, and she is later found dead in her student digs and her room mate, Heather, has vanished. Katie Battle leads a double life as a glamorous escort to ensure that her mother gets the care she needs. She is found dead in a hotel room.

Ellie, along with her partner, JJ Rogan, discover that the two cases are not, as first thought, unrelated to the death of Robo. Ellie becomes more and more certain that Sparkes is the key to her case, but everyone else believes she is blinded by obsession. As they unravel the double lives that all the girls led, they know they have to find “Tanya Abbott” as she is the only one that can completely solve the mysteries, but she must also be on the killer's hitlist - all the more reason for her to stay hidden.

You can almost smell and feel New York in this book, the sassy cops, the even sassier witnesses and the superiors and moguls straight out of godammit school. This is an excellent thriller, the personalities and NY city life fabulously painted, and the climax has a twist that makes Ellie think hard about allowing bias to take over her thinking again.

This is the first in the series with Ellie Hatcher, and I look forward to the next. The fact that it’s called Angel’s Tip has no bearing on whether I’ll read it or not. Honest.






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