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Dead Connection (Ellie Hatcher #1)

3.73  ·  Rating Details ·  2,943 Ratings  ·  246 Reviews
When two young women are murdered on the streets of New York, exactly one year apart, Detective Ellie Hatcher is called up for a special assignment on the homicide task force. The killer has left behind a clue connecting the two cases to, a popular online dating service, and Flann McIlroy, an eccentric, publicity-seeking homicide detective, is convinced that ...more
Audio CD, Abridged
Published July 10th 2007 by Brilliance Audio (first published 2007)
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I had no idea this was by James Lee Burke's daughter until there was a reference to his main character, Dave Robichaux, about midway through this book. The nut didn't fall far from the tree in this case! And wasn't Dave's daughter named Alafair, too?

I enjoyed this thriller about Ellie Hatcher, a rookie NYPD detective, who gets her first shot at a murder case. While I did guess who the bad guy was early on, there were enough twists and turns to keep me interested and a few surprises to make me wa
Lewis Weinstein
An excellent cop procedural with a worthy female detective. Sharp tension from beginning to end. I was a little surprised at how assertive she was with her far more senior partner, but she carried it off and it didn't intrude.

Alafair also pays a somewhat hidden tribute to her dad when her character Ellie Hatcher calls a Louisiana cop name Dave, and has problems pronouncing his last name. Could it be Jamie Lee Burke's Dave Robicheaux?
This was a fun read, and a great start to a series! The main character-Ellie Hatcher was a strong independent woman, and I liked her right from the start. I give DEAD CONNECTION 3 and 1/2 stars. I wasn't crazy about the ending, but I look forward to reading more of this series.

Jun 22, 2012 Kristen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: serial-mystery, 2012
If you love a great suspenseful mystery series, you're at the right place. Alafair Burke introduces into the world of Ellie Hatcher, a new NYPD detective who's assigned to a new case. When we meet Ellie, we're welcome into her world as how she's treated as a fellow police officer, and how people look at her. Tough as nails, we see how she cares for her mother and brother, and how devastated she is, with some emotional baggage back in Kansas. She doesn't give up. This mystery series packs a punch ...more
A thrilling hunt to find justice for the dead women and a brilliant effort to connect the the crimes to First Date, a company created to find true love. I enjoyed meeting Ellie and her brother Jess plus a few other characters. This was a fast paced crime that had all the elements of a serial killer and more. I had a feeling that a sleight of hand was being played with the clues but didn't see the outcome at the end, exactly.... (view spoiler) ...more
Dec 27, 2014 Paul rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime-thrillers
Dead Connection – A Twist at Every Turn

In her first outing of Ellie Hatcher in All Day and A Night, Alafair Burke follows up her introduction to Ellie Thatcher with Dead Connection. Dead Connection is a sleek first rate thriller, which introduces us to engaging characters that helps to make this thriller so compelling. It is easy to see why Dead Connection and Alafair Burke has been lauded and quite rightly so as she delivers a compelling thriller that delivers on the suspense and thriller aspec
Jane Stewart
Not good for me, but mystery fans might like it.

This is a police procedural. We accompany Ellie (a homicide detective) as she investigates murders by a serial killer. Michael Connolly does the same thing with his character Harry Bosch. But with Bosch I am intrigued and fascinated. I did not feel that way with this book. It was dry, almost plodding. Both authors use twists and surprises, but for some reason Connolly does it better. I don’t know how to explain why.

If you look at the plot and what
Goodreads Description- When two young women are murdered on the streets of New York, exactly one year apart, Detective Ellie Hatcher is called up for a special assignment on the homicide task force. The killer has left behind a clue connecting the two cases to First Date, a popular online dating service, and Flann McIlroy, an eccentric, publicity-seeking homicide detective, is convinced that only Ellie can help him pursue his terrifying theory: someone is using the lure of the Internet and the p ...more
Sep 01, 2015 Judie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Detective Ellie Hatcher, raised in Kansas, became a police officer because her father had been one. He had been working on a case involving multiple murders when he allegedly committed suicide. Her brother, Jess, moved to New York City and she soon followed, planning on helping him.
When two attractive, single women, around thirty years old, were killed exactly a year apart, the New York Police Department called in Hatcher to help solve the crime even though she had been a detective for only fo
Jun 03, 2010 DH rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2010, books-i-own
I haven’t read a good mystery novel in a while and Dead Connection definitely satisfied my hunger for one. It had everything I could ever ask for in a mystery novel. Great characters, check. Suspenseful, check. Fast pace plot, check.

I love the characters in the book and even more than that I love the relationships and interactions they had with one another. The characters were drawn extremely realistically and they were fully fleshed out. Each character carried around their own personal baggage,
Nov 16, 2013 Mary rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A new series here, Ellie Hatcher is a rookie detective called to help on a homicide, but not for her skills so much as her history. She was highlighted in the news a fews years back as she demanded that her father's death be looked into more closely, it was ruled a suicide and she felt it was murder. Now she gets caught up w/ Russian gangsters & an evil man who will kill to serve his own ends.
Rachel Brady
Jan 23, 2010 Rachel Brady rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I "read" this one on audiobook. Both the story and the narrator were fantastic! Lots of twists and turns in this one with a variety of unique characters, each with personal demons (I like that). The mystery revolves around murders that are connected to an online dating service, a hook that internet junkies like myself will enjoy. I'll be back for more Alafair Burke.
Jun 24, 2008 Suzanne rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Krista & Emma
Recommended to Suzanne by: Cincinnati Public Library
Shelves: mysteries
This was my first Alafair Burke book, although technically the Samantha Kincaid series was written before this Ellie Hatcher debut. Vastly enjoyed the writing style and intricate mystery. Loved Ellie and can't wait for more in this series!!
Jul 20, 2012 Cher rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Dead Connection was my first read by Alafair Burke. I could not get into the protag, Det. Ellie Hatcher till about mid-way. While the premise was alright the plot pacing was off. It was a slow go till the mid-way point and after that there were parts that went to fast and had too much info dumping. Then towards the end there were pivotal points that should have been addressed but were not till the last few pages and then were pressed into one or two sentences. I hate when that happens. Case in p ...more
Kathleen Hagen
Dead Connection, by Alafair Burke, B-plus, Narrated by Christopher Lane, produced by Brilliance Audio, downloaded from

This book is part of the Ellie Hatcher series. Ellie, assigned to burglaries on the NYPD, is suddenly requested for a space on a special homicide taskforce set up to catch what police are beginning to see as a serial killer. It’s never quite clear to me why Ellie, a fairly new detective, would have better qualifications for this taskforce than others, but that’s real
Darla Jackson
I've read some of the other reviews on this book, and quite frankly, I don't share them. I'm a fan of the genre, but this book seems boilerplate among its contemporaries, and there is nothing exceptional about it. I've seen the other reviews that praise its authenticity, but I found it severely lacking, and there were a few times when I wanted to chuck the book across the room because it veered so far away from reality. For example, why would NYPD put a young, inexperienced cop with no homicide ...more
Nov 06, 2010 Monty rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I had trouble getting into this book initially, but I was away on a short trip and had plenty of time to immerse myself in it. I am glad I did because this turned out to be a satisfying read by the last third of the story. I was thankful that I finished it in two days because my short term memory issues would have been overly taxed if I had spread this out for a longer period of time--a new character or plot twist would emerge frequently, except near the end when characters described earlier are ...more
May 10, 2016 Msjodi777 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobook, 2016, may-2016
You know the book is good when you stay up until 03:30 in the morning to finish it... sigh... Honestly, as much as I like James Lee Burke, I do believe that Alafair Burke is even better. (have to admit that I did like the way she brought Dave with the unpronounceable last name - well to "yankees" - from New Iberia, LA into the story.) This book moves along at a fairly good clip, there are surprises - some of which are just wrong and the characters are not only interesting but likable. And when y ...more
Mar 22, 2016 Kari rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobook, 2016
I really enjoyed this mystery. I thought the whole story was well planned out with a big twist in the end. I really wasn't expecting the reveal in the end. I like Ellie's character a lot. Even in her rookie years, she still had the same determination and smarts that I found in her in her later books. It was nice to see she stayed consistent.

My only complaint with this throwback was not in the story itself, but in the audiobook. The story is told form a female point of view (Ellie's) yet the narr
Feb 01, 2017 Chris rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
I read this book over the course of at least a month, and for some reason had no difficulty remembering details during the spans of nonreading time. The storyline was interesting with a number of surprises, and the protagonist, Ellie Hatcher, was smart and real. She took chances, sometimes without thinking things entirely through, and was willing to bend rules a little bit. I liked her a lot, as well as her brother, Jess, and the guy she ended up "seeing" by the end of the book, Peter. There are ...more
Jul 24, 2012 Christine rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
When a woman is murdered after a date she arranged through internet dating site First Date, rookie police detective Ellie Hatcher is unexpectedly assigned to work on the case. Ellie is paired up with veteran detective Flann McIlroy who suspects this might be part of a series of murders. As more murdered woman are discovered in connection with the case, it becomes harder rather than easier to determine a pattern and a motive for the killings.

Although this book felt a bit formulaic and somewhat pr
Oct 02, 2015 Judy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Why haven't I run across this author before? She has written a number of books and is the daughter of James Lee Burke--there must be something in the genes. J. Burke's books are too dark for me, but his daughter writes an exciting mystery with a female detective as the protagonist. I didn't notice when the book was written, but the story involves a computer-dating service; so there is lots of computer talk, which is well-presented as far as I understand. I like Ellie Hatcher and look forward to ...more
Stacy Bearse
Apr 21, 2014 Stacy Bearse rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
An above-average mystery centered on the murky world of online dating services. Burke creates a strong plot with the requisite twists and turns, as her likable characters struggle through the mean streets of New York City. Burke is the daughter of my favorite novelist James Lee Burke which leads to my one nitpick criticism: A cheesy and totally unnecessary cameo appearance by Dave Robicheaux, daddy Burke's protagonist. A great read for your next transcontinental flight.
Jul 10, 2012 Mark rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read "Judgment Calls," the 1st in the Samantha Kincaid series Alafair Burke and was, "Meh!"...but this initial book in the Ellie Hatcher series had me at the jump...likable characters and great plotting...maybe the backdrop of NYC was the difference...I don't know, but this series seems way more appealing...Hatcher is temporarily attached to homicide & is investigating murders tied to a dating web site...great twists and a fun thrill ride...loved it!!!
Oct 08, 2014 Karen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a very well-written mystery/thriller. Being a fan of the genre, I am always glad when the characters come across as real, and the situations as believable. A good, solid story, enough to make me start in on the second in the series right away!
Oct 03, 2013 Jeanne rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This story had me hooked from the very beginning. The author kept redirecting so I was not able to figure out who the "bad" guy was until the very end. Well thought out plot made for an enjoyable listen!! 8 of 10 for me on this one.
A better than average plot, with a very well-drawn protagonist in Ellie Hatcher. I loved the reference to Dave Robi....(unpronouncable name) in Bayeux Teche. Lovely sense of familiarity.
I am looking forward to reading more of these.
Jeff Dickison
Jul 12, 2014 Jeff Dickison rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A very good introduction to the Ellie Hatcher series. Ellie is loaned to homicide to help figure the connection between murders of women. Well done, exciting story, shows good writing skills of Ms. Burke. Recommended to mystery/murder fans.
Aug 03, 2014 Betty rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Listened to this as an audio book and it was very well read by Elizabeth Kaye. It is the first of a series and I will be looking for the next one. It is a detective murder mystery with an interesting plot and characters.
Jul 17, 2008 Evelyn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
Detective Ellie Hatcher is specifically sought for a special assignment on the homicide task force when a clue left at the scene of a murder seems to connect two cases to an online dating service.
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Alafair Burke is the New York Times bestselling author of "two power house series" (Sun-Sentinel) that have earned her a reputation for creating strong, believable, and eminently likable female characters, such as NYPD Detective Ellie Hatcher and Portland Deputy District Attorney Samantha Kincaid. Alafair's novels grow out of her experience as a prosecutor in America's police precincts and crimina ...more
More about Alafair Burke...

Other Books in the Series

Ellie Hatcher (5 books)
  • Angel's Tip (Ellie Hatcher #2)
  • 212 (Ellie Hatcher #3)
  • Never Tell (Ellie Hatcher, #4)
  • All Day and a Night (Ellie Hatcher, #5)

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