Monday, August 31, 2015

Review: All Day and a Night

Summary: A new murder case with ties to a convicted serial killer leads Detective Ellie Hatcher into a twisting investigation with explosive and deadly results in this superb mystery from the “terrific web spinner” (Entertainment Weekly) Alafair Burke.

When psychotherapist Helen Brunswick is murdered in her Park Slope office, the entire city suspects her estranged husband—until the District Attorney’s office receives an anonymous letter. The letter’s author knows a chilling detail that police have kept secret: the victim’s bones were broken after she was killed. Her injuries were eerily similar to the signature used twenty years earlier by Anthony Amaro, a serial killer serving a life sentence for his crimes. Now, Amaro is asking to be released from prison, arguing that he was wrongly convicted, and that the true killer is still on the loose.

NYPD Detectives Ellie Hatcher and JJ Rogan are tapped as the “fresh look” team to reassess the original investigation that led to Amaro’s conviction. The case pits them against both their fellow officers and a hard-charging celebrity defense lawyer with a young associate named Carrie Blank, whose older sister was one of Amaro’s victims.

As the NYPD and Amaro’s lawyers search for certainty among conflicting evidence, their investigations take them back to Carrie’s hometown, where secrets buried long ago lead to a brutal attack—one that makes it terrifyingly clear that someone has gotten too close to the truth. -- Harper

I honestly can't explain why I haven't picked up a novel by Alafair Burke. I have been reviewing mysteries almost every Monday for years now, and I have quite a few of her books sitting on my shelves...and yet, it took until last week for me to finally read one. ALL DAY AND A NIGHT is her tenth book and the fifth in the Ellie Hatcher series, and this is the one I finally decide to read? All kidding aside, I absolutely loved it and can't wait to read more of her novels.

ALL DAY AND A NIGHT begins when psychotherapist Helen Brunswick is brutally murdered in office. Naturally, her husband is suspected; however, when the District Attorney's office receives an anonymous letter, questions surface about the similarities between this murder and a series of murders from twenty years ago. Now, Anthony Amaro, the man serving a life sentence for the crimes, is asking to be released from prison.

Detective Ellie Hatcher and her partner are assigned to take a "fresh look" at the original investigation that led to Amaro's conviction. Needless to say, the officers who worked the case are less than thrilled that they are re-investigating; and the defense lawyer for Amaro is definitely adding to the controversy.

Both the NYPD and Amaro's lawyers, including one whose sister was murdered by Amaro, are looking into finding the truth... and they all find themselves in danger as they get closer to finding the truth.

I absolutely loved Ellie Hatcher and ALL DAY AND A NIGHT. I can't believe that I've been missing out on this series and this author for so long! What's ironic is that I've read some review of this novel, and evidently it's not even the best one in the series. Needless to say, that makes me very excited to read more of Ms. Burke's novels!

One thing I really enjoyed about this novel was the character of Ellie Hatcher. While this novel definitely works as a stand-alone, I could tell that Ellie's character had evolved through the years. There were some minor references, especially as they pertained to her personal life, that made me want to know more about Ellie's past. Having said that, there was nothing in this novel that didn't work even without knowing the characters in this novel.

Ellie was an extremely interesting character to me. I really liked her and her grittiness, and I found her intuition about the cases to be compelling. I am a huge fan of this genre and I love that there is a series with a strong woman character. I even enjoyed the dilemmas she had in her personal life by dating a lawyer who worked in the D.A.'s office.

Another character is really liked in this novel was Carrie, the lawyer who worked for Amaro's lawyer and also whose sister was one of Amaro's victims. She was a fantastic character and I really appreciated seeing her return to her hometown and face the people and circumstances from her past.

I also enjoyed the mystery of the story. There were a few twists but I'm not sure I'd go so far as to say that I was shocked with the final outcome. (Evidently some readers are and some aren't!) I was surprised by a few of the turns and I appreciated that things were always interesting. In addition, I felt as if the book was so much more than just a mystery given the complexity of the characters, so I didn't mind not being gobsmacked by the conclusion.

Even though I prefer to start series at the beginning, I am so glad that I finally read an Ellie Hatcher novel. You will definitely be seeing more review of Ms. Burke's books here! In the meantime, I highly recommend ALL DAY AND A NIGHT for fans of mysteries.

Thanks to the publisher for providing a review copy of this novel.

Mystery Mondays is a regular feature where I review all types of mystery books -- traditional mysteries, suspense/thrillers, and even cozies! Please feel free to share your thoughts on any recent mystery books that you've read. Mystery Mondays is a regular feature where I review all types of mystery books -- traditional mysteries, suspense/thrillers, and even cozies! Please feel free to share your thoughts on any recent mystery books that you've read.

1 comment:

bermudaonion said...

I'm pretty sure I have several of her books here and now I'm wondering why I've never read them. I need to get to work!