Former prosecutor Alafair Burke has a couple page turners to her credit, soon-to-be released "All Day And A Night" and "If You Were Here." (HarperCollins).
In "If You Were Here," an old case that ended her career as a prosecutor has come back to haunt McKenna Jordan, who has since rebranded herself as a journalist.
The case involved a white policeman, Scott Macklin, who shot a young black man Marcus Jones. The cop claimed self-defense, but McKenna traced the gun to the police stash of seized weapons.
McKenna believed the gun was planted to cover up for the shooting. The Jones case coincided with the disappearance of her friend, Susan Hauptmann.
While on a story to interview a young athlete, Nicky Cervantes, who had fallen on the subway tracks and was rescued by a mysterious woman, McKenna discovers that the woman on the tracks bears an uncanny resemblance to Susan Hauptmann.
But why would she turn up now after 10 years missing? Is the clue to her disappearance the logo for a militant environmentalist group she spies on the backpack Susan was carrying? McKenna is puzzled as to why her friend, a graduate of West Point, would be caught up in a group classified as a terrorist organization by the FBI?
An interesting note revealed by her publicist is that this novel is slightly autobiographical. Burke, like McKenna Jordan, was a former prosecutor.
Further, her husband attended West Point and served in the military prior to managing the security of the Metropolitan Museum of Art much like the character Patrick.
With this rich background to draw on, Alafair Burke adds a plot with enough twists and turns to keep the reader's interest as the intriguing story of Susan Hauptmann finally unfolds.
- From HarperCollins Publishers
A murder case with ties to a convicted serial killer leads a young defense lawyer and an NYPD homicide detective into parallel investigations with explosive and deadly results in "All Day And A Night" (June 10 release).
The latest story dominating New York tabloids - the murder of Park Slope psychotherapist Helen Brunswick - couldn't be further from Carrie Blank's world handling federal appeals at one of Manhattan's most elite law firms.
But then a hard-charging celebrity trial lawyer calls Carrie with a case she can't refuse. Anthony Amaro, a serial killer convicted 20 years earlier, has received an anonymous letter containing a chilling detail about Brunswick's murder: the victim's bones were broken after she was killed, the same signature used in the murders attributed to Amaro.
Now Amaro is asking to be released from prison.
Carrie has a reason to be interested. Her older sister, Donna, was one of Amaro's victims. Determined to force the government to catch Donna's real killer, Carrie joins Amaro's wrongful conviction team with her own agenda.
On the other side of Amaro's case is NYPD Detective Ellie Hatcher, who, along with her partner, J. J. Rogan, is tapped as the "fresh look" team to reassess the investigation that led to Amaro's conviction.
The case is personal for them, too: Ellie wonders whether they got the assignment because of her relationship with the lead prosecutor, and Rogan has his own reasons to distrust Amaro's defense team.
As the NYPD and Amaro's lawyers search for certainty among conflicting evidence, their investigations take them back to Carrie's hometown, where secrets buried long ago lead to a brutal attack-one that makes it terrifyingly clear that someone has gotten too close to the truth.