Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Orion New Blood - Alafair Burke

Not Euro Crime, but seems only fair to cover every author. A former deputy district attorney in Portland, Alafair Burke now teaches criminal law at Hofstra School of Law and lives in New York City. She is the daughter of acclaimed crime writer James Lee Burke. So far Orion have published three books featuring Portland based deputy DA Samantha Kincaid. The next book, also published by Orion, is due out in April 2007 and is a standalone featuring Ellie Hatcher, an NYPD detective haunted by her father's murder.

#1 (Apr 2007) Exactly a year after Caroline Hunter was killed, another New Yorker using the same internet dating service is lured to a meeting and strangled. Homicide detective Flann McIlroy drafts in Ellie Hatcher, currently working street crime, who joined the police when she became convinced her cop father was murdered by an infamous Kansas serial killer. Flann has made the connection to the online dating agency and Ellie joins up undercover - but finds herself drawn into emails with one of the potential dates. As Flann and Ellie gather more evidence, they find themselves hindered by higher powers who want for some reason to keep the FirstDate agency out of the investigation. The head of the company, Mark Stern, is obviously influential and refuses to believe that the murders have anything to do with his agency. But Ellie unearths plenty of reasons and won't back down - and soon she's in danger of sharing her father's fate...

#3 (July 2005) When Officer Geoff Hamilton shoots Delores Tompkins, an African American woman, during what should have been a routine traffic stop - all hell breaks loose on the streets of Portland, Oregon. Hamilton claims justified force, but the community want him prosecuted. After a day of intense rioting, things really start to spiral when a local investigative reporter, Percy Crenshaw, is found beaten to death at his home. Crenshaw was loved in the black community and with tensions running high, the DA's Office wants someone on the case from the very start - Samantha gets the job. To begin with, it looks like an open-and-shut case. The night of the riots, two young men went on a massive crime spree near Crenshaw's home. Their baseball bat is found smeared with Crenshaw's blood. But a few details just don't fit - Crenshaw's phone has been tapped and his notes suggest he was in the middle of an investigation into police corruption. When another community activist winds up dead, Sam begins to think there might be a connection. The trail leads back to the North Precinct, where cops operate under a code of secrecy and where DAs are anything but welcome. Samantha is forced to question the behaviour of the local police, which puts her cop-boyfriend in an impossible situation. But Sam can't walk away from a fight, anymore than he can walk away from the force. She must battle to solve a case that seems more dangerous at every turn before the man she loves decides she's more enemy than friend.

#2 (November 2004) In the second entry in this exciting new series, the search for a missing judge leads Samantha Kincaid into Portland politics and a labyrinth of crime, corruption and cover-ups. Deputy DA Samantha Kincaid is back to work after an attempt on her life and a promotion into the Major Crimes Unit. When the husband of Portland judge Clarissa Easterbrook reports her missing and Samantha is called out on the case, she assumes her only job is to make the district attorney look good until the judge reappears none the worse. When the police discover evidence of foul play, however, Samantha finds herself unearthing secrets that Clarissa had wanted to stay hidden, the lingering personal tolls of a crime that occurred decades ago, and corruption at the highest levels of the city's power structure. Her quest for justice could cost her not only her job, but her life.

#1 (December 2003) Deputy District Attorney Samantha Kincaid walks into her office in Portland's Drug and Vice Division one Monday morning to find three police officers waiting for her. A thirteen-year-old girl has been brutally attacked and left for dead on the city's outskirts. Given the lack of evidence, most lawyers would settle for an assault charge; Samantha, unnerved by the viciousness of the crime, decides to go for attempted murder. As Sam prepares for the trial, she uncovers a dangerous trail leading to an earlier high-profile death penalty case, a prostitution ring of underage girls, and a possible serial killer. And she finds her judgement - not only in matters of the law but in her personal life - called into question...

(Synopses from

1 comment:

Maxine Clarke said...

I love her books, unlike her father's whom I know everyone raves about but I just can't get into them.
However, on reading your excerpts, I am unsure how many I have read, how pathetic. I have definitely read the first two. I think I haven't read the third yet.
If you haven't read them, I do recommend the first one, I thoroughly enjoyed it -- but then I adore legal crime/thrillers.