Dead Connection

Alafair Burke

Henry Holt and Co.

In this electrifying thriller, a rookie detective goes undercover on the
Internet dating scene to draw out a serial killer targeting single women
in Manhattan
 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 promise of love to launch a killing spree against the women of New York City.
 To catch the killer, Ellie must enter a high-tech world of stolen identities where no one is who they appear to be. And for her, the investigation quickly becomes personal: she fits the profile of the victims, and she knows firsthand what pursuing a sociopath can do to a cop--back home in Wichita, Kansas, her father lost his life trying to catch a notorious serial murderer.
 When the First Date killer begins to mimic the monster who destroyed her father, Ellie knows the game has become personal for him, too. Both hunter and prey, she must find the killer before he claims his next victim--who could very well be her.
 Expertly plotted and perfectly paced, Dead Connection advances Alafair Burke to the front ranks of American thriller writers.


Read an Excerpt

Chapter One
The man's first look at the newspaper item was a casual one, followed immediately by a more deliberate perusal. But it was the photograph accompanying the story that had him transfixed.
Caroline Hunter had preoccupied his thoughts in recent weeks, but this was his first opportunity to reflect on her appearance. To his surprise, she reminded him of a girl he had worked hard not to think about for a very long time. So proud. So uppity. Caroline Hunter had the look of a woman convinced of her own intelligence, a woman who assumed she could do whatever she wanted--get


Praise for Dead Connection

"Alafair Burke delivers a first-rate thriller, as a rookie detective investigates the dark side of internet dating while trying to survive the mean streets of New York. Absolutely riveting."--Lisa Gardner, author of Gone
"Alafair Burke proves her flair for creating compelling characters and a tricky plot in Dead Connection. Fans of detective fiction will enjoy young, complicated Ellie Hatcher as she willingly, frighteningly, plays victim, hoping to trap a killer."--Perri O'Shaughnessy, author of Keeper Of The Keys

"These are characters I'd follow forever!  Dead Connection is a sleek and utterly riveting thriller that deserves every accolade it is sure to get."--Tess Gerritsen, New York Times bestselling author of The Mephisto Club
"Engaging characters, dark subject matter, and a compelling story.  A suspenseful and entertaining read."--Kathy Reichs, New York Times bestselling author of Break No Bones

Reviews from Goodreads



  • Alafair Burke

  • A former deputy district attorney in Portland, Oregon, Alafair Burke now teaches criminal law at Hofstra Law School and lives in New York City. She is the daughter of the acclaimed crime writer James Lee Burke. Her three novels in the Samantha Kincaid series, Judgment Calls, Missing Justice, and Close Case, are available in paperback from St. Martin's Press.
  • Alafair Burke
    Alafair Burke





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    Dead Connection

    Alafair Burke