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In New York City, Nights Are Dangerous. Days Are Numbered.

When New York University sophomore Megan Gunther finds personal threats posted to a Web site specializing in campus gossip, she's taken aback by their menacing tone. Someone knows her daily routine down to the minute and is watching her--but thanks to the anonymity provided by the Internet, the police tell her there's nothing they can do. Her friends are sure it's someone's idea of a joke, but when Megan is murdered in a vicious attack, NYPD Detective Ellie Hatcher is convinced that the online threats are more than just empty words.

With smooth, straight-talking partner J. J. Rogan at her side, Ellie tries to identify Megan's enemies, but she begins to wonder if the coed's murder was more than just the culmination of a cyber obsession. Phone records reveal a link between Megan and a murdered real estate agent who was living a dangerous double life. The detectives also learn that the dead real estate agent shared a secret connection to a celebrity mogul whose bodyguard was mysteriously killed a few months earlier. And when Megan's roommate suddenly disappears, they know they have to find her before another young woman dies.

Exposing the darkness that lurks beneath the glamorous surface of New York City, 212 delivers yet another "knuckle-biting journey that'll keep you turning pages until the very end" (Faye Kellerman).

542 pages, Kindle Edition

First published March 23, 2010

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About the author

Alafair Burke

57 books4,291 followers
Alafair Burke is the New York Times, Edgar-nominated author of fourteen crime novels, including The Ex, The Wife, The Better Sister, and the forthcoming Find Me. She is also the co-author of several novels with Mary Higgins Clark. A graduate of Stanford Law School and a former Deputy District Attorney in Portland, Oregon, Alafair is now a Professor of Law at Hofstra Law School, where she teaches criminal law and procedure.

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5 stars
1,088 (21%)
4 stars
2,289 (44%)
3 stars
1,461 (28%)
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212 (4%)
1 star
56 (1%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 513 reviews
Profile Image for J.D..
Author 24 books171 followers
December 29, 2014
Alafair Burke is an incredibly talented writer. One of her many strengths is the ability to use just the right detail (the unmatched desks in a detective squad room, the contrast between a DA's cheap Bic pen and a defense lawyer's expensive one) to make the reader feel that they're right there in the scene. The plotting is tight and just twisty enough to keep the reader guessing without going so over the top as to elicit eye rolling. And her characters are very well drawn. For instance, I love how Burke portrays Ellie Hatcher, the protagonist of 212. She's certainly less than perfect, but without so much baggage that it weighs down the story. This is police procedural done right. Highly recommended.
Profile Image for Yasmin.
302 reviews5 followers
February 2, 2013
I just discovered this author but I'm really enjoying her books. Taut, suspenseful writing. I'm not sure how she compares to her father because I've never read his books but as an author she stands on her own.
Profile Image for Ed.
Author 43 books2,693 followers
June 26, 2011
4.5. This is an energetic and intriguing read about a lady homicide detective working a murder case in New York City. Ellie grew on me as a fully-drawn character the further I got into the novel. She's tenacious, shrewd, and the sort of a competent detective you'd want investigating your loved one's murder if, may God forbid, that calamity should ever befall you. A series I hope continues to develop for many subsequent titles.
Profile Image for Linda.
652 reviews28 followers
June 25, 2017
I picked up this book as a 99 cent Goodreads deal, and I hadn't read this author before.

It was a good mystery with interesting twists and turns, and believable characters. It kept my attention but was not unputdownable. I would read another in the series.
Profile Image for Noninuna.
846 reviews35 followers
May 24, 2018
The long and short of it is that, it's good a mystery. Somehow I read the 3rd book of the series and I'm looking forward to read the first one. I like the twist near the end and the dynamic between characters; whether between Ellie & Rogan, Ellie & Jess or Ellie & Max.

I plucked out one star out of my rating just because it felt ages to finish it, maybe because of there's a lot of chapters even tho the chapters are not too long.

Profile Image for noosha.
204 reviews4 followers
May 30, 2021
promising beginning but ultimately a fucking FLOP!!!! first of all where is the disgusting horrible terrifying gross scary parts??? second of all the anti sex work rhetoric was out of fucking control please relax and let these girls make their damn money. third of all karin why would u recommend this book to a girl
like me???
honestly i’m not sure how touse rhetoric in a sentence. bye!
Profile Image for Donna Maguire.
4,404 reviews104 followers
May 9, 2012

This was the first book by Alafair Burke that I had read and I must say I loved it! It was fast paced and I did find myself quickly turning the pages, trying to guess what was coming next, and guessing incorrectly and I really found the book hard to put down. I read the book in less than two days and would recommend it to anyone who has an interest in crime thriller novels. I have now made it my mission to read the other books in the Ellie Hatcher series!
Profile Image for Tamara.
954 reviews243 followers
December 20, 2015
Stalking, prostitution, crime and life in NYC- just another day in the life of Ellie Hatcher. Good mystery- ending not as twisty as other books of Alafair's- but very good!
Profile Image for Mark.
2,188 reviews20 followers
January 28, 2022
I've long been a fan of James Lee Burke, having read most or all of his wonderful "Dave Robicheaux Series," and I'm now embarked along the same path with his daughter's "Ellie Hatcher Series'...They both provide tight plots, great character development, insight into humanity's fragilities and twists to keep the pages turning...One notable difference is the general lack of "mysticism" that seems to permeate the "Robicheaux Series"...In "212," Hatcher and her partner are drawn into some homicides that are going to lay bare the dark side of the internet, sex work and the political power of money in th environs of NYC...Good Stuff!!!
Profile Image for kristin.
130 reviews13 followers
May 8, 2021
In my humble opinion, this was pretty bad. I picked this up because it was recommended on a reddit thread of “scariest books of all time” and after reading the book I can only assume the list was written by a little baby.

There was maybe one suspenseful scene, but most of the plot was convoluted. Also SO MUCH of the “investigation” was just the detectives happening upon information or running into people. It takes place in New York fuckin’ City and I’m supposed to believe they can vaguely describe a guy and someone nearby happens to knows him. 🙄

My biggest issue though was that the author literally pulls a Lord Voldemort at the end and has the bad guy loudly and clearly explain what they did and why and how... for some reason...
Profile Image for Maddy.
1,689 reviews74 followers
November 25, 2015
PROTAGONIST: Ellie Hatcher, homicide detective
SERIES: #3 of 3
RATING: 3.75

In the past few years, social networking has taken the Internet by storm. Millions of people use Facebook; many more tweet on Twitter, view videos on YouTube, blog daily, list items for sale on craigslist and find future mates on relationship sites. The social media do serve a good purpose in terms of providing many means of communicating. Unfortunately, though, there is often a darker side to these sites that can destroy people and even drive them to suicide. We’ve all read about people being viciously attacked online. What sometimes happens is that the online menace flows over to a person’s real life. Such is the case for Megan Gunther, a student at New York University who is being threatened on a Web site specializing in campus gossip. It is frightening for her to find that someone knows everything about her life and daily schedule.

The police are unable to do anything to help Megan because the postings on the site are completely anonymous, making it impossible to determine who is behind the threats. It is only when Megan is murdered that there can be a serious investigation. The case is assigned to detective Ellie Hatcher and her partner, J. J. Rogan; and they have a difficult time of it. Finally, phone records reveal some connections that lead in a completely different direction, including a prostitution ring run on craigslist. It takes several other deaths before they are able to uncover the truth. At the same time, they are trying to solve the murder of a real estate agent, and Ellie spends a night in jail as she parries with a real estate mogul in court.

The plot is quite complex, with many seemingly unrelated threads crossing and uncrossing each other all along the way. This led to the major issue in the book for me, which was the fact that Ellie constantly came up with different theories to explain what was going on. I found that as she laid each theory out in detail, I became more and more confused, since she jumped to a lot of conclusions. All of the theorizing led to pacing issues, since we were taken out of the investigation and into a lot of mental work, much of it very speculative.

On the other hand, I really enjoyed the characters in the book. Burke excels at creating realistic dialogue, and the banter between Ellie and JJ felt completely natural. It was also refreshing to see Ellie’s relationship with her significant other, Assistant District Attorney Max Donovan, portrayed as positive and mature.

212 is the third book in the Ellie Hatcher series. This book in particular reflects the realities of life in today’s world. A large part of the appeal of 212 is that the reader vicariously shares the victims’ vulnerability. We are all exposed to possible danger because of our online transactions. And that possibility is scarier than any crime fiction work could ever be!

Profile Image for Luanne Ollivier.
1,684 reviews86 followers
June 21, 2011
I've just turned the last page of 212 by Alafair Burke and am sitting here wondering how I've missed adding this author to my list of must read authors.

212 features recurring lead character Ellie Hatcher, an NYPD Detective. In 212 Ellie and her partner Rogan catch a homicide in a penthouse belonging to one of the city's wealthiest men. Although he claims no knowledge of how and why his bodyguard was using the suite, he seems to be trying to control the direction of Ellie's investigation. As does the judge involved....

Rogan and Ellie catch a second murder case. A young college student had previously complained to the police about anonymous online threats directed at her. Those threats escalated - to murder. As they dive into their latest case, the detectives discover a link between the two murders. One that someone doesn't want found...

Ellie is a great protagonist. She smart, tough, dogged and determined. The partnership between her and Rogan works - they're quite opposite personalities. I enjoyed the secondary story lines featuring her brother Jess (a dark horse I'm sure we'll hear more about) and Ellie's love life. The dialogue flows easily and the cases are realistic and not cut and dried. It was only on reading the author notes at the back, that I discovered the ideas for this book did indeed spring from newspaper headlines. That note of reality also springs from Burke's background. She herself is a former prosecutor and now teaches criminal law.

212 was a really good read and a series I will now be following. ( But I had no problem reading 212 as a stand alone.) I'll also be checking out the other series Burke pens featuring Portland Deputy District Attorney Samantha Kincaid
Profile Image for Paula  Phillips.
4,846 reviews294 followers
May 1, 2010
This novel starts with a lady Tanya calling from a PayPhone to report a shooting and then dashes to hotel room number 212 and this is where the story is centered around ,hence the use of 212 in the title . Ellie and Rogan Partners in Law, arrive to Apt 212 to find a man dead , normally this would be an easy homicide to solve but the owner of the apartment happens to be rich guy Sam Sparks - somebody who seems to be a high risk celebrity in a sense. We then shoot over to the college campus of NYU ( New York Uni) where a student Megan Gunther is being stalked on a Gossip Girl type blog called CampusJuice , when she is found dead and her roomate stabbed suspicions arouse as ideas that the two crimes are connected starts to float around. What has A college student and the dead person in Apt 212 have in common ? , As time passes another woman Katie is found dead and all the evidence starts to point in the direction of the mystery woman Tanya from the beginning of the book. What I found interesting in this novel is how the author successfully connected all the characters in the novel perfectly together as she used the friends of friends circle. An excellent mystery novel that keeps you guessing and wondering exactly what is the connection and why the women and man (note the single plural) were killed right to the last chapter . I know that sounds cliched but this is the truth and nothing but the truth- I swear and take an Oath "quote from the book" with 212.
Profile Image for Allan.
76 reviews2 followers
August 17, 2011
I've enjoyed a couple of Alafair's books before and this one is quite well done, too. I'd been out of touch with her work for the last few years and enjoyed this new series example, based in New York. I began reading her work just to see if her father's incredible writing ability had been passed along. While wisely not assaying anything remotely like James Lee Burke's body of work, she is doing quite well, thank you very much. I'll continue to follow her career with interest.
Profile Image for Jeanne.
816 reviews4 followers
June 18, 2013
This book had many twists and turns--really kept me wondering how the multiple plots were going to come together!! Had to keep listening to figure out how it would play out. The ending really threw me for a loop! I thought I had it figured out, but I did not. The author did a great job closing the story!! 8 out of 10 for me.
Profile Image for Darla.
3,361 reviews529 followers
August 9, 2016
I'm giving it a 4 as I had a hard time putting it down. Wanted to know how the crimes were all related and the resolution of the plot was realistic with a bit of the current headlines added in.
Profile Image for Bob Box.
2,923 reviews12 followers
December 11, 2022
Read in 2011. A gripping thriller featuring hip, Manhattan based detective Ellie Hatcher. One of my favorites that year.
Profile Image for Magpie67.
895 reviews99 followers
June 24, 2014
Riveting, smashing first rate crime featuring a witness who saw too much plus had a back history she didn't want discovered. "'A shooting. There's been a shooting.' Tanya used her palm to wipe away the drops of water from her eyes, tears mixed with rain. Her attempts were futile, serving only to smear mascara across her clammy cheeks. 'You heard gunshots?' 'Inside the apartment.' 'Ma'am. I need you to use your words. You heard gunshots from inside the apartment? Could you tell what direction they were coming from?' 'There was a shooting. Inside the apartment at Lafayette and Kenmare.' 'I've got your location as Lafayette and Bond, ma'am. Did you mean to say Lafayette and Bond?... I need you to speak to me, ma'am. Can you tell me if you're okay? Are you hurt?'" The dead man in the apartment is Sam Sparks' protection specialist. Body guard, Robert Mancini, has been shot in Sam's bedroom. The first innocent victim killed, looks like a home invasion. Home invasion usually involves a drug scene where the address might be incorrectly used or not in a drug disturbance. There are two incidents, two separate events that will weave back to each other and they both involve building 212. The owner of the apartment is, of course, number one suspect on the body guard death and the cops are hot to find the female who was able to hide and get away from the murderer. A tryst was occurring or the transaction was complete when the bodyguard was shot. It's the detective's theory, the murdered individual knew his attacker. Then there is the death of the college girl Megan Gunther. How does her stalking tie into the murder in 212? This third book is sensational because it's so different than the first two in the series. First title involved a serial killer using the dating internet, the second title was another serial killer attacking blondes and the third well... it starts out with the witness dialing 911 to report the crime, then we move to the detectives processing the apartment and then the story bounces to the courtroom drama, four months after the murder. A scene in which it looks like the killer is getting away with murder. Does Sam Sparks really have an air tight alibi? A cold case for the detectives that starts at the beginning with all the witnesses to re-interview with a closer look at the crime scene again, except someone is a step ahead of them.They are also looking for the woman who just might have all the answers from that fatal evening. The killer is stalking his prey, he begins with one college student and her roommate which leads him to another woman who is a real estate agent and the killer still hasn't found the woman that saw him commit the first crime inside the apartment. What tipped off the killer? That is what Ellie and her partner, J.J. Rogan, need to discover and quickly. What do all the women have in common? Phone numbers in their cell phones for starters and that is how the story unfolds to end. I saw where the clues were going to land, but I didn't know the exact motive. I didn't that little twist at the end only the author had planned. I did know who the killer was just about halfway; getting there with the clues was the extra fun of finishing the book.
Profile Image for Jim.
1,102 reviews13 followers
January 6, 2015
Wow what an outstanding mystery thriller. I was blown away on how much I really like this book. "212" by Alafair Burke is the third in her Elle Hatcher series. Hatcher and partner JJ Rogan have a dead body in an expensive suite with a scene that makes no sense. Robert "Robo" Mancini is found murdered. Building is 212. Mogul Sam Sparks is owner of suite, and not cooperating with the investigation. Sparks even pressures Judge Bandon to lock up Hatcher for contempt. After her 24 hour ordeal, Hatcher and Rogan have another body. Young college student Megan Gunther has been murdered. Megan's roommate Heather is no help for police.Heather was badly hurt in attack that killed Megan. Heather then runs away from hospital. As it turns out Heather isn't even Heather. The twists and turns fly fast and furious in this one. Hatcher and Rogan's new boss Lt. Robin Tucker seems to be hiding something big from the investigation. Is it possible Tucker having a relationship with one of the prime suspects ?. Meanwhile, Real estate broker Katie Battle turns into "Miranda" and is then murdered. Is Katie/ Miranda a high priced hooker ? While reading I actually took notes. Taking notes made it easy for me to keep track of the players. Author Alafair Burke has crafted an incredible puzzle of sex, greed, lies, and a large web of deception. Even though it ran 522 pages this one flew. I kept referring to my notes as each character morphed into someone or something else. The dialog was incredible and really packed more punch into the story. the characters come right out of some great old crime novels/ films. "212" is the fifth book I've read from author Burke, and every one has been fantastic. 5 stars out of 5. No flaws in this one. Even if you haven't read the first two Hatcher Books that's not a problem here. The blended story picks up enough details out of first 2 to make this one special. You must put down whatever you're reading right now ,and dive into "212". Just go and get it- now !
Profile Image for #artdamnit Reads.
85 reviews6 followers
June 26, 2012
212 by Alafair Burke started with the death of one man in a pent house in NY called and ended with crazy drama and plot twists that were all mostly predictable. Here’s the blurb from BN:

When New York University sophomore Megan Gunther finds personal threats posted to a website specializing in campus gossip, she’s taken aback by their menacing tone. Someone knows her daily routine down to the minute and is watching her—but thanks to the anonymity provided by the Internet, the police tell her there’s nothing they can do.
Now, sadly this is highly misleading, the book was not entirely about Megan Gunther, nor her murder, hers was just the tip of the iceberg that lead to escort services, corrupt cops, and lots of Law & Order and CSI bashing.

What I liked:

I did like the lead detective Ellie Hatcher, I thought she was fun, bold and had no trouble expressing herself. I also loved her relationship with her older brother Jesse who has a habit of sleeping on her couch
What I didn’t like:

The plot was unoriginal and predictable, in fact, I just saw a recent Law & Order episode that was similar, but had a much better story line.
I really disliked the Law & Order and CSI bashing, while I understand that you can’t learn criminal law and forensics from such shows there’s no need to constantly bash them. Also the bashing was rather ironic in this case because the whole book read like a really bad episode of Law & Order any way
All the characters but the main character (Ellie) fell very flat.
The plot was all over the place and the “twists” were unoriginal and predictable…only the final twist was unexpected and also highly confusing…it wasn’t really needed.
So all in all this was a mediocre murder mystery. Ok for a rainy day but not overly memorable.

2 out of 5

Happy Readings!

<3 The Book Worm
Profile Image for Alan Mills.
540 reviews25 followers
September 11, 2016
Hatcher is back! Better than ever

A body guard is killed in his boss's apartment.ma college student is stabbed to death in her apartment, and her roommate is mutilated, but survives after a stint in the ICU. A prostitute is killed by her date. Throw into the mix an extremely wealthy playboy real estate developer (which Burke makes clear is NOT Donald Trump), and a corrupt federal judge, and you have the setting for another great entry into the Hatcher series (book three, if you're keeping track).

As usual, Burke does a good job of building suspense, and sending Hatcher--and thus the reader--down several wrong paths. Inter iced with the narrative are just enough insights into Hatcher, and a couple of the other characters, to ensure we care about what happens to them.

Two complaints: First, the dark story is, in the end, balanced by an overly mushy monologue by Hatcher about the goodness in people.

Second, there are two small factual errors, which should have been caught by an editor:
(1) p. 340: Baltimore is a strange city in that unlike every other city in the country, it is NOT part of Baltimore County. Thus in most cities, the city police and the county prosecutor would work together, they do not in Baltimore. Hatcher makes this common error.
(2) p. 414: AMC made the Pacer car, not GMC.

Neither make the slightest difference to the plot, but still...
Profile Image for Jerry B.
1,389 reviews118 followers
October 1, 2016
We were quite pleased with our first Ellie Hatcher story, “Angel’s Tip”, the second entry in the currently 5-book set. We had previously enjoyed Burke’s writing but were not that happy with her other protagonists – and so were pleased to discover NYPD homicide detective Hatcher, a resourceful operative who is fun to like. This third entry, “212”, was quite complicated but definitely suspenseful and enjoyable. A murder occurs in wealthy Sam Sparks’ building known as “212”; and shortly thereafter an NYU coed is killed after vicious rumors about her are posted on a tabloid-type campus web site. Hatcher begins to suspect the two events might be related, despite Sparks’ efforts to keep a lid on the investigation. The plot eventually twists and turns toward a satisfying conclusion. We might even have rated the tale 5 stars if it weren’t for almost too many complications to keep in mind at one time.

We had planned to read this entire set, and certainly found nothing in book 3 to deter us from reading on!
Profile Image for Rachel Brady.
Author 12 books21 followers
April 24, 2010
Another suspenseful read from Alafair Burke! In this Ellie Hatcher novel, the third in the series, Ellie and her partner Rogan investigate a murder in an upscale New York building known as "The 212." To make heads or tails out of their case, and another homicide they're working concurrently, Ellie must sort through a cast of multi-dimensional suspects and, not surprisingly, none of them are easy to read. In fact, there are quite a few "double lives" going on here, and all of them lend themselves to a real head-scratcher. In typical form, Burke twisted and turned the plot long after I thought I knew what was going on, and in the end, she wrapped it up nicely. This book takes a very honest look at what motivates people and leaves the reader with a reminder that things are often not as they seem on the surface. Highly recommended for those who enjoy a New York City setting, police detective novels, or determined female protagonists who don't take crap. :)
Profile Image for Meg Whitlock.
Author 1 book13 followers
August 1, 2012
I really enjoyed this book. I didn't realize it was #3, but that makes sense. There were some situations that had me thinking she'd probably written backstory somewhere.

I read this book in one sitting because it was a really fast read. I enjoyed the fact that Ellie was a normal person. I've read a lot of Gillian Flynn lately, so I kept expecting Ellie to flip out and cut herself or sleep with her partner or something equally self-destructive, but, all things considered, she's pretty well-adjusted. I was so glad to see that!

The story was a bit convoluted, and once you were able to work out the plot, a bit predictable. I was slightly ashamed at Ellie for not catching on sooner.

Overall a quick, enjoyable way to spend a lazy day off.
Profile Image for Mary.
802 reviews12 followers
February 19, 2014
Ellie Hatcher is a NYC detective, she and her partner, JJ Rogan are at the scene of a homicide, when the owner of the apartment shows up and he and Ellie get into a tiff in which she ends up putting him under arrest so he will leave the scene of the crime. She was mostly angry because he seemed to care more about her wet shoes on her rug than the dead man in the bed. As she obsesses over this man as a suspect, they get called to another case, two young women are stabbed, and one is still alive. This fast paced novel has a lot of twists and turns, and keeps .you turning the page. Love Alafair's characters, and look forward more of Ellie.
Profile Image for Joyce.
1,691 reviews15 followers
January 9, 2013
A man is found murdered in a Hotel room in NY. Ellie Hatcher and J J Rogan are the detectives assigned. As they investigate, they are deterred by prominent and wealthy individuals, the Judiciary and their Lieutenant. They are also put in rotation with more murder cases. The more they investigate, the more they see the intertwining of the three cases they are following. There is lots of procedural plot and some that isn't. The story also follows non-protagonists in their involvement. All in all it makes for good reading.
Profile Image for AngryGreyCat.
1,503 reviews36 followers
July 20, 2015
212 is the third book in the Ellie Hatcher series by Alafair Burke. The hook is very current, focused on the dangers of the internet and how it allows predators to terrorize victims with no repurcussions. The main gist of the mystery involves mistaken identity and sorting through the red herrings, which are numerous, and lead the reader and Ellie Hatcher down several side streets and alleys before solving the murder case(s).The murders are tied up neatly in the end and the cases are solved. Interesting, quick mystery read.
Profile Image for Marnie.
845 reviews7 followers
January 17, 2017
A page turner of a murder that goes bad, that turns into a series of killings. Involves the wealthy, a judge, police officer, and even escort service. The author did a very nice job incorporating every corner to make this suspense/thriller a good read. I even liked her method of how she writes by using things that have really happened in the past to build her fictional novels. Well done!! Funny thing is that I can recall most of those scandals that really did happen.
Displaying 1 - 30 of 513 reviews

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