Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Alafair Burke

Alafair Burke's acclaimed series featuring NYPD Detective Ellie Hatcher includes Dead Connection and Angel’s Tip.

From her Q & A with Jennifer Vido:

Jen: The suspect in 212 is Sam Sparks. A Donald Trumpish kind of character who believes himself to be above the law, he irks Ellie from the get-go. If this character were Samantha Sparks, would Ellie have reacted in the same way? Why or why not?

Alafair: What a terrific question. It recognizes that women are often their harshest critics. In this case, however, I think Ellie would have reacted the same. Sparks gets under her skin not because he's a man, but because he's part of an extremely elite class that she knows does not accept her kind and that she'll never be a part of. I don't want to say too much, but Sparks turns out to be more than he appears.

Jen: Without giving too much away, the essence of the plot centers on some girls getting caught up in a prostitution ring via the Internet. I was shocked by my own sense of naiveté when it came to this topic. How are social networking sites such as MySpace, Facebook, and Craig's List a crucial part of the mainstreaming of the sex industry?

Alafair: What the book explores (in an entertaining way, I hope) is the mainstreaming of today's sex industry. Walking on corners has been replaced by ads in Craig's List, and ads on Craig's List don't seem so different to some young women from social networking sites. At the same time, the dating world has become courser, as many girls routinely "hook up" with free-spending guys on the assumption that there's no future, just an expensive night. As Eliot Spitzer's escort has since explained, she didn't see a big difference between hooking and what she and her friends had already been doing.

Jen: In terms of the storyline how does the role of technology help as well as hinder Ellie's investigation? With prepaid, disposable phones and unidentifiable IP addresses, how can today's law enforcement effectively protect our citizens? In your opinion, are they able to remain one step ahead of the criminals? Or, are they constantly just trying to keep up?

Alafair: Technology...[read on]
Watch the 212 video trailer, and learn more about the book and author at Alafair Burke's website and blog.

The Page 69 Test: Dead Connection.

The Page 69 Test: Angel’s Tip.

The Page 69 Test: 212.

--Marshal Zeringue