All Day and a Night
By Alafair Burke
(Harper, Hardcover, 9780062208385, June 2014, 368pp.)
The Short of It:
Steady pacing, a slightly predictable plot but overall an entertaining read.
The Rest of It:
All Day and a Night is part of the Ellie Hatcher detective series. I wasn’t aware of this when I agreed to review the book but it can absolutely be read as a stand-alone, which I was very happy to find out.
This time, Ellie Hatcher and her partner J.J. Rogan, are asked by her District Attorney boyfriend, Max Donovan, to take a look at a long closed murder case. The recent murder of a local psychiatrist and the details surrounding the case lead him and his office to believe that the killer that they have in prison, is the wrong guy and that the real killer is still on the loose. Hatcher and Rogan’s task is to take a fresh look at the case to see if anything was missed in the initial investigation.
There are several problems with this. One of which has to do with the fact that they are being asked to work outside of their jurisdiction and any cop knows that taking a speculative look at another cop’s work, is not going to be taken lightly. Plus, most of the crimes took place in the small town of Utica, where everyone knows everybody else. Getting the info they need could be a challenge. To complicate things further, the attorney hired to prove her client was wrongly accused is Linda Moreland. Known for her aggressive tactics, she takes on attorney Carrie Blank to assist with the case, but Carrie is much too close to the case. Her half-sister Donna Blank was one of the victims and although she wants to find the real killer, she questions herself repeatedly, wondering if she is doing the right thing.
Some have said that All Day a Night was very predictable. It was a little predictable towards the end and maybe a tad far-fetched, but for the most part, it was a classic detective story. Burke gives the reader the clues a little at a time and what I especially liked, is that it wasn’t overrun with red herrings. I never felt as if the author was “yanking my chain” if you know what I mean. I also noticed how smooth the dialogue was. Sometimes, in crime fiction especially, I find the dialogue to be a little stiff. Not the case here.
I’ve not read the other books in the series but my overall experience was a positive one. Did you know that Burke’s written ten books between two different series? Have you read any?