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Angel's Tip (Ellie Hatcher Series #2)

Angel's Tip (Ellie Hatcher Series #2)

4.4 50
by Alafair Burke

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Angel’s Tip is a riveting read that snaps with the beat of New York….A knuckle-biting journey that’ll keep you turning pages until the very end.”
—Faye Kellerman, bestselling author of the Peter Decker and Rina Lazarus novels

“Alafair Burke has created a winning heroine in Ellie Hatcher, someone to root


Angel’s Tip is a riveting read that snaps with the beat of New York….A knuckle-biting journey that’ll keep you turning pages until the very end.”
—Faye Kellerman, bestselling author of the Peter Decker and Rina Lazarus novels

“Alafair Burke has created a winning heroine in Ellie Hatcher, someone to root for.”
—Tami Hoag, bestselling author of Down the Darkest Road

“Complex plotting, multi-layered characters, a creepy serial killer—in Angel’s Tip, Burke has once again proven herself a terrific storyteller.”
—Sandra Brown, bestselling author of Lethal

Acclaimed thriller writer Alafair Burke delves into the underworld of the Manhattan nightclub scene in Angel’s Tip. Burke is the daughter of crime fiction superstar James Lee Burke, creator of Cajun detective Dave Robicheaux, prompting the Fort Worth Star-Telegram to proclaim that “this fast-paced-but-human thriller proves that writing talent is genetic.” A superb crime novel featuring NYPD Detective Ellie Hatcher (“a strong female protagonist in the tradition of Sara Paretsky’s V.I. Warshawski and Marcia Muller’s Sharon McCone” —Boston Globe), Angel’s Tip follows Ellie’s investigation into the murder of a young college student, quite possibly by a member of New York’s young moneyed elite, and fans of Lisa Gardner, Karin Slaughter, Harlan Coben, and Sue Grafton will most definitely want to trail along.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

Near the start of Burke's gripping second procedural to feature NYPD detective Ellie Hatcher (after Dead Connection), Ellie happens on the mutilated body of college student Chelsea Hart in East River Park while on her morning jog. Friends of the victim point the cops toward posh nightclub Pulse, located in the trendy Meatpacking district, where Ellie and partner J.J. Rogan are able to match a VIP's credit card receipt to young and arrogant investment banker Jake Meyers, with whom Chelsea was last reported seen. But pinning the case on him doesn't feel right when Ellie discovers similarities between Chelsea's murder and two others from years past. Meanwhile, local media keep getting hold of unreleased facts of the case, making Ellie's superiors suspicious of her romantic relationship with Daily Post crime reporter Peter Morse. Knowing the cops aren't on the right track lends a sense of dread to the plot. Burke leaves her principle characters little time to sleep; readers will relate. Author tour. (Sept.)

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Library Journal

New York City rookie police detective Ellie Hatcher, first introduced in Dead Connection, is out on her morning run when she discovers the corpse of a teenage girl who's been strangled, stabbed, and shorn of her blond hair. The 19-year-old had been visiting the Big Apple with friends and hitting all the clubs while on break from college. Her murder creates a whirlwind of bad publicity for the city, but the NYPD breaks the case very quickly-or have they? Turns out there are weird similarities to some cold cases that Hatcher's deceased partner had been checking out, and she is unconvinced they have the right perp. When another young woman is killed in a similar fashion, even the hunky district attorney has to admit the case has problems. Hatcher, meanwhile, is getting an uneasy feeling that somehow it's personal. Lots of suspense and plot twists galore keep the pages turning, but the story lines about Hatcher, her boyfriend, her brother, and her partner deserve the credit for making this novel a winner. Highly recommended for all public libraries. [See Prepub Alert, LJ5/15/08.]
—Stacy Alesi

Kirkus Reviews
Burke (Law/Hofstra Univ.; Dead Connection, 2007, etc.) scores on all counts in this thriller about a serial killer with a hair fetish. Pathos underscores the complicated second case Burke hands to NYPD cop Ellie Hatcher. On her bare knees in an alley outside a club in Manhattan's Meatpacking District, Indiana University student Chelsea Hart tops a spring-break night of booze and drugs with sex by fellating a man who resembles Jake Gyllenhaal. Chelsea never learned how dangerous the Big Apple can be for party kids. In a few hours, someone drops her slashed body beside the East River. Jogging nearby, Ellie comes upon the scene. Soon she's on the case and has a likely suspect under arrest. But several unsolved, cold cases unsettle Ellie. Since all of them involve victims with cut or hacked-off hair, she suspects a serial killer committed the crimes. She wonders why a superior scoffed at an officer who worked this theory a few years back. At home, Ellie's boyfriend Peter, a tabloid reporter desperate for a book idea, nags Ellie for details about the case, which he may be leaking to the paper. Everything goes on hold when a janitor at the club where Chelsea partied on the last night of her life confesses to her murder. But if he's the killer, then who is narrating a series of chilling scenes detailing plans to murder another young woman with a blond ponytail? When this victim's body turns up, her hair has been crudely styled to look the way Ellie's looked in a school photograph, and Ellie's initials have been carved on the victim's forehead. Ellie appears a likely target and one of the parties to the case appears a too likely suspect. Then Burke makes good on a solid buildup by pulling off abig surprise. Burke's brisk and ultimately suspenseful narrative offers wily and intricate plotting and sharply etched major and minor characters. Agent: Philip Spitzer/Philip G. Spitzer Literary Agency, Inc
Faye Kellerman
“Angel’s Tip is a riveting read that snaps with the beat of New York. Be prepared for a knuckle-biting journey that’ll keep you turning pages until the very end.”
Tami Hoag
“Alafair Burke has created a winning heroine in Ellie Hatcher, someone to root for not only in this book, but I hope in many more tales as yet untold.”
Sandra Brown
“Alafair Burke is one of those rare writers whose books are both scary and cerebral. Complex plotting, multi-layered characters, a creepy serial killer - in Angel’s Tip, Burke has once again proven herself a terrific storyteller.”

Product Details

HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
Ellie Hatcher Series , #2
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1 MB

Read an Excerpt

Angel's Tip

By Alafair Burke
Copyright © 2008

Alafair Burke
All right reserved.

ISBN: 978-0-06-156102-3

Chapter One The man leaned forward on his stool to make room for a big-boned redhead who was reaching for the two glasses of pinot grigio she'd ordered. He asked for another Heineken while the bartender was down his way, figuring he could enjoy a second beer before anyone in the restaurant bothered to take note of him.

He was good at blending into the background in even the most generic settings, but he certainly wasn't going to stand out here, given the commotion at the other end of the bar. Four men in suits and loosened ties were throwing back limoncello shots, their second round with the group of girls that had brought the man to the restaurant in the first place. Actually, his interest was not in all three-just the tall blond one.

He was used to taking more time with his selections, but he needed to find a girl tonight. This would be his first time on a schedule, let alone a tight one. NoLIta had seemed as good a starting point as any. Lots of bars. Lots of booze. Lots of beautiful young people trying so hard to have fun that they paid little attention to someone like him.

He had been wandering the neighborhood for about half an hour when he'd spotted the trio crossing Prince Street, the blonde the obvious leader. The other two were nothing special: one average-looking brunette in average-looking clothes; the other, petite one slightly more interesting with her close-cropped black hair and bright yellow dress.

But it was the tall blonde who was a head-turner, and she knew it. She wore tight black pants and a low-cut red satin tank over a gravity-defying push-up bra. Topping off the ensemble was a well-placed V-shaped choker necklace-the equivalent of a vertical arrow sign hanging from her clavicle, instructing, "Direct Gaze Here." And her hair was perfect-long, shiny, white-blond waves.

He'd ducked into Lord Willy's on Mott and perused the dress shirts while they'd passed, then continued his pace about forty feet behind them until they'd parked themselves next to the bar at Luna. Fortunately, the girls had been kept waiting for their eight o'clock table, so he'd had plenty of time to study the blonde up close before making a final decision.

He liked what he saw. He even had a chance to speak to her briefly when she split off from her friends to go to the restroom. That had been risky on his part. But her two gal pals were so smitten with the limoncello boys that they hadn't noticed the exchange.

He felt a twinge of disappointment as the hostess notified the girls their table was ready. Then he heard a male voice. "Stay for one more shot." Apparently the men in suits believed that plying the girls with drinks was going to get them somewhere.

Instead, the short girl in the yellow dress handed one of the men her cell phone and asked him to take a picture of the three friends. Mission accomplished, the brunettes followed the hostess to their table with barely a thank-you to their liquor-pouring benefactors. At least the blonde gave them each a hug before she trailed along.

The decibel level in the bar area fell noticeably in the wake of the girls' departure. The other patrons seemed relieved, but he took it as a signal to leave.

On Mott, he walked north toward Houston, forcing himself to adopt a leisurely pace. His car was parked only ten blocks away, and the girls would need at least an hour for dinner.

He had plenty of time.


Excerpted from Angel's Tip by Alafair Burke Copyright © 2008 by Alafair Burke. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

What People are Saying About This

Sandra Brown
“Alafair Burke is one of those rare writers whose books are both scary and cerebral. Complex plotting, multi-layered characters, a creepy serial killer - in Angel’s Tip, Burke has once again proven herself a terrific storyteller.”
Faye Kellerman
“Angel’s Tip is a riveting read that snaps with the beat of New York. Be prepared for a knuckle-biting journey that’ll keep you turning pages until the very end.”
Tami Hoag
“Alafair Burke has created a winning heroine in Ellie Hatcher, someone to root for not only in this book, but I hope in many more tales as yet untold.”

Meet the Author

Alafair Burke is the New York Times bestselling author of ten previous novels, including the standalone thrillers Long Gone and If You Were Here, and the Ellie Hatcher series: All Day and a Night, Never Tell, 212, Angel’s Tip, and Dead Connection. She is also the coauthor of the Under Suspicion series with Mary Higgins Clark. A former prosecutor, she is now a professor of criminal law and lives in Manhattan.

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Angel's Tip 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 50 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Thoroughly enjoyed this book. Could not put it down. This is one that is easy to get into and makes you want to find out what happened. I'm not very good at writing reviews, but I am great at reading books and at knowing good books. This one keeps your interest, is a bit off-beat, and takes a few turns.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I first started reading Alafair Burke when her book 212 was a free friday book. I was hooked and have since bought books 1&2 in her Ellie Hatcher Series. If you like crime novels this is your book. You experience the case through their eyes and try to figure it out along with them. It is worth the money!
jquick5342 More than 1 year ago
ANGEL'S TIP by Alafair Burke A first rate police procedural from the daughter of James Lee Burke. In this second Elli Hatcher outing, the newly assigned NYPD homicide detective is first on the scene at the discovery of the mutilated body of a college student. She and partner J.J. Rogan have an abundance of suspects that come into and then out of the picture as more evidence is unearthed that finally leads to a manhunt for a serial killer. Very nicely done and suspenseful to the end. Lets hope we continue to see more of Ms. Hatcher in the months and years ahead. Completely different from, but potentially as enduring as her dad's Dave Robicheaux.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a great lady cop story. I like this style of writing, very easy to read. I also feel the character development is good. Kept me guessing till the end. Karen in Indiana
StephenTremp More than 1 year ago
WHAT I LIKED: The main character, Ellie Hatcher, is a likeable and believable character. She's a straight shooter who can do things the easy way or the hard way. Regardless, she'll get results. She's smart, tough, aggressive, calculated, and pretty darn hot. But she also likes to drink Margaritas with friends and relax. I liked the chemistry with her brother Jess and new partner JJ Rogan. I appreciated the balance as its no fun to have a completely wound up protagonist. The minor characters were engaging and fun to watch develop. The victims were humanized and not treated as a prop to further the plot. Angel's Tip is a classic whodunit. Could the killer be someone from within the police force or one of the affluent young party boys in the elite Manhattan night club called the Pulse? Burke skillfully hides clues and integrates red herrings along the way to keep the reader guessing until the end of the book. The story took numerous twists and turns, as one by one the characters looked as if they could very well be the serial killer, until finally there was one man left standing. I like to write down the names of the characters, who they are, and what they do, then try to identify the killer as I progress through the book. Sometimes I can correctly identify the killer halfway through. Not this time. Although there were only two actual murders in Angels Tips, Burke did a wonderful job recalling three similar murders from the past and intertwining them throughout the story. Ellie, of course, made the connections and concluded there had to be only one killer responsible for all five killings. Alafair Burke's background as a deputy district attorney and as a teacher of criminal law is demonstrated in her ability to weave inner workings of a criminal mind, how the justice system works, the investigative process, and what works and what doesn't work into her story. Angel's Tip is based on real life murders of young women after a late night of partying in New York City and developed into a "What if" scenario. What if Ellie Hatcher caught cases like these and saw a connection where no one else did?
Sherri_Hunter More than 1 year ago
I usually prefer my mysteries and thrillers on audio.  For me, the tension, suspense, anxiety and, yes, sometimes fear are more heightened through the audible performance of the narrator.  If done correctly, it makes the story more enjoyable for me.  Unfortunately, not every audiobook has provided the nail-biting edge of my seat anticipation.  When this happens, I find it a struggle to continue the book.  Depending on the story&rsquo;s subject matter, I may give up on the book entirely or start over with a print edition.  I decided to start over with Angel&rsquo;s Tip.  This is the second book in the Ellie Hatcher series and she is a character that intrigued me in the first book, <i>Dead Connection.</i> This book picks up not long where the first one ended, so I recommend you read this series in order to maintain character and storyline continuity.  Ellie has new challenges in this story as well.  She still has to prove herself in a Unit where she is the least experienced and where her boss appears to hate her and everything about her.  She is given a new partner and she and J.J. Rogan have to learn to work together as a team while getting to know one another.  She is also trying to process where her relationship with Peter is going and she still lives with her brother, Jess.  A pretty average and typical day in the life of an NYPD Homicide Detective.   As with the last book, I think Ellie is a fantastic character.  She maintains her composure when she is face to face with people who are openly hostile, like her boss or with people whose motives I certainly question, like her boyfriend.  I enjoy the teamwork and budding friendship between Ellie and Rogan and the domestic relationship between her and her brother.  Ms. Burke does an amazing job of creating characters with depth and personalities that are a joy to get to know and understand. Ellie and Rogan&rsquo;s first case involves the murder of a college student from Indiana who is visiting Manhattan on her spring break.  She has been strangled and stabbed repeatedly and her hair has been chopped off.  Ellie and Rogan quickly identify a suspect and the Department is satisfied that the case has been solved.  The more Ellie looks at the case, however, the more she doubts that they have the right suspect.  She begins following up on similar cases that her last partner was working on that happened decades ago.  With the assistance of her partner and ADA Max Donovan, Ellie is trying to race the clock to put the pieces together before this psychopath claims another victim. This story was very complex and it was impossible for me to figure out who the killer was.  When Ellie figures it out, my reaction was &ldquo;Huh?  Where did she come up with that?&rdquo;  I had not even come up with a near guess, but that&rsquo;s really OK.  I don&rsquo;t want to be the one to have to figure it out.  It takes all of the enjoyment of the story away from me.  I enjoy not knowing and being surprised and even shocked when it is revealed.  Even better, the adrenaline doesn&rsquo;t stop with the big reveal.  The story kicks into high gear as the stakes have gone up once Ellie knows.  I give Ms. Burke a double high five for ripping the rug out from under me. Overall, this was a very good story that I am glad I stuck with.  This book will appeal to fans of J.D. Robb&rsquo;s Eve Dallas series or James Patterson&rsquo;s Women&rsquo;s Murder Club series.  If you enjoy strong female protagonists who are not afraid to get their hands dirty and have guts and courage, I recommend this series.  I am looking forward to the next book in the series to see what Ellie gets into next and who she gets into it with.
ann55 More than 1 year ago
I hve enjoyed Ellie Hatcher's series, need more !!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have enjoyed all of Alafair's books-I like the characters and care what happens to them in the stories. I would recommend her and this book to anyone who enjoys mysteries.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I only read the preview but immediately I was drawn into the storyline. I read 212 and simply loved it from start to finish. Alafair Burke is now one of my favorite authors. You are pulled into the suspense and mystery and then you just can't put the book down until the very last page. You will not be disappointed.
Tunguz More than 1 year ago
I have not had a chance to read a good crime novel in a long while, and from the description this book seemed like a good one to read. It took a while for the story to develop, and since I was not familiar with the main character from the previous novels by Alfair Burke, it took about hundred pages or so before I could care enough to be fully gripped by the story. However, once I had the full interest in the happenings, the book was hard to put down. Burke has a very well developed style that is precise and technically impeccable. The story has a feel of a combination of the "Law and Order" and "Silence of the Lambs." So if you are into either one of those two genres, this will be an interesting book to read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Really enjoyed it
Clancy More than 1 year ago
She learned well at her father's knee. Great
emmi331 More than 1 year ago
Alafair Burke keeps her serial-killer story moving along well, though it bogs down in the sections involving the love/personal life of NYPD Detective Ellie Hatcher, a likeable enough protagonist. For me, though, the minor characters were more interesting and well-drawn. The book is based on a real-life incident of a young woman killed after partying late (and alone) at a popular dance club, and as such does a decent job with the fictionalized version.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Alafair Burke's Det. Ellie Hatcher returns after last year's disappointing 'Dead Connection.' Thankfully, 'Angel's Tip' is much better, maybe even one of the best crime novels of the year, so far. On a morning jog, Hatcher discovers the body of murdered college student Chelsea Hart, and the investigation soon leads to the trendy New York City club scene, where Hart was last seen with investment banker Jake Meyers, who immediately becomes the prime suspect. But Hatcher quickly discovers striking similarities to several cold cases, leading her to believe a serial killer is on the loose. And she also wonders why police brass dismissed the serial killer theory a few years ago, when those old cases were first being investigated. Meanwhile, leaked details about the current murder keep appearing in the local newspaper, complicating Hatcher's relationship with her tabloid reporter boyfriend, as well as her professional life when he's accused of being the source. Things really get interesting when a new victim is found, her hair style eerily similar to one Hatcher wore in an old school picture, with Hatcher's initials cut into her forehead. In addition to the suspenseful plot (which has a doozy of a twist near the end), all of the characters are interesting and believable - qualities that are sometimes missing from a lot of crime fiction. Highly recommended. Also recommended: 'A Stranger Lies There' - winner of the Malice Domestic Award for best first mystery, its plot also leads to the New York City club scene.
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Well written
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beachpolly More than 1 year ago
Interesting police procedure book.
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