Fresh-faced Indiana college student Chelsea Hart is so excited to spend the final hours of her spring break in the VIP room of an elite New York City club that she remains behind when her girlfriends call it a night. The next morning, as her concerned friends anxiously pace their hotel lobby, joggers find Chelsea's body in East River Park, her wavy blond hair brutally hacked off.
NYPD Detective Ellie Hatcher catches the case and homes in on the group of privileged men who were last seen plying Chelsea with free-flowing alcohol. But before she can even gather the preliminary evidence, the gruesome murder is grabbing headlines and drawing unwanted media attention to the department. So when Ellie builds a tight case against Jake Myers, a young hedge fund manager, the department brass and the district attorney's office are elated: the case will soon be cleared, the media will tout the department's quick work, and Ellie will be a dream witness at the trial against Myers.
But Ellie has her doubts. Chelsea's murder is eerily similar to three other deaths that occurred nearly a decade ago: the victims were young, female, and in each case, the killer had taken her hair as a souvenir.
Ellie's investigation pulls her into a late-night world of exclusive clubs, conspicuous wealth, and hedonistic consumption. And her search for the truth not only pits her against her fellow cops but also places her under the watchful eye of a psychopath eager to add the prideful young female detective to his list.
"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." - Library Journal.
"Starred Review. Burke's brisk and ultimately suspenseful narrative offers wily and intricate plotting and sharply etched major and minor characters." - Kirkus Reviews.
"Starred Review. Burke leaves her principle characters little time to sleep; readers will relate." - Publishers Weekly.
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A former deputy district attorney in Portland, Oregon, Alafair Burke now teaches criminal law at Hofstra Law School. The daughter of acclaimed crime writer James Lee Burke, she is a graduate of Stanford Law School and currently serves as a legal and trial commentator for radio and television programs, including for Court TV. She lives in New York City with her husband, Sean.
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