Angel's Tip by Alafair Burke is her second Ellie Hatcher novel. For the second in a series it is a remarkably well written and detail oriented book. Often, as the reader we have a good idea who the "bad guy" is, yet, this one kept me guessing. (For those who this surprises, it was well written, it IS a mystery, and I do not read mystery novels trying to solve them first...seriously who does that?)
I loved the character development, having not read book 1 and getting a deal on this one via Amazon kindle, I was worried I would miss something; however this is not the case. Ms. Burke fills the reader in such a way it does not seem tiresome for those who read book 1 but is enough to help the reader understand the character development.
After returning from a hellish year of learning the truth about her father's death, Ellie and her rich, black, handsome, and very likeable partner; Rogan end up with a high profile murder case. The young woman murder, Chelsea Hart was a college co-ed on spring break in New York with her two best friends. They go clubbing and Chelsea ends up dead at the hands of a suspected serial killer.
Chelsea Hart, while a woman, and a murder victim, more than passes the "Lippman Test". Yes she is killed in the opening chapters, yet, as they struggle to locate her killer, she becomes a full developed character in her own right. For this I need to give kudos to Ms. Burke, many writers ignore the victim or their development of that character is flat and one dimensional, not the case in this novel. This goes to show the depth of Ms. Burke's writing talent!
Throughout the novel, this seemingly tough, workaholic,and at times hard drinking character Ellie Hatcher, is revealed to be human, fallible, contentious; like most of us vulnerable. Not only vulnerable emotionally, but because she cares, she can be mislead and betrayed by those she trusts.
I have to say, as a fan of Ms. Burke's it is this humanity, realism and fallibility in her main characters that I love. It is the main reason; I make a point to read anything she writes.
The plot is rich with well developed characters, the city of New York comes alive and it is well written, edited and a quick read. It is one you will not want to put down! For those who love mystery novels and especially ones with believable characters and strong intelligent woman, it will not disappoint.