Thursday, June 16, 2011

Reading Out of Order

I'm really bad about reading books in order. It can be sort of a stalemate position when it comes to new books. When I do take a chance and read something midway through a series, I'm always pleased as punch to discover one that can stand alone as a whole. Alafair Burke's 212 is this kind of read. Technically the third in her Ellie Hatcher series, 212 can be read without any confusion by newcomers like me.

When a body is found in a rich real estate mogul’s apartment, Ellie and her partner, J.J. Rogan, are sent to investigate. Ellie promptly arrests the exec for disturbing her scene, and the fallout from that action is swift. Though Ellie suspects the man may have had a hand in the murder, he becomes all but off limits. A few months later, the case still open and no concrete leads to speak of, Ellie and Rogan are sent to a new scene. This time, a college coed and her roommate have been brutally attacked, the roommate barely survives and the other girl is pronounced dead on the scene. Turns out, the girl was being harassed on a popular college gossip site. She and her parents approached the police just one day before the murder and were told there was nothing they could do. With two high-profile cases weighing heavy on her, Ellie has her hands full, but she is dead-set on solving them both.

Burke has a new standalone due out June 21 (Long Gone) but 212 is out in paperback now. As my own little Burke story, many of you know that Alafair is the daughter of Louisiana writing LEGEND (because I worked in bookstores in Louisiana and everyone was itching to get him in for a signing) James Lee Burke. I once traveled to Poisoned Pen in Scottsdale (AZ) where they happened to be selling James Lee Burke tees. My mom thought it was hilarious that I went all the way to Arizona to buy a Louisiana tee shirt. What can I say? We didn't have the shirts at our store.

Remember, you can still enter to win weekly prizes over at Alafair's official page, http://alafairburke.com/, simply by participating in her Duffer Awards. You can also read bi-weekly posts by Alafair over on the Murderati blog.

Good luck and happy reading!


Ellie said...

I've been accepting a few review books from midway through series recently and it's really hard for me not to start at the beginning. I think it depends on how much I want to read it, if I'm feeling a bit meh I can cope without reading the rest!

Anonymous said...

I've been thinking about this very topic - the reading out of order thing. Wrote something about it that will show up tomorrow. I've vowed to start loosening my grip on the "must read in order" reins. I vowed that last year too, but this time I'm serious.

Now, Alafair Burke is an author that I've meant to read for quite a while. I have her new book pre-ordered, but I think I'll try the one you highlight here too. And...not worry that it is #3. :-)

Becky LeJeune said...

It can definitely be hard. Some authors are great about stories that stand on their own within the series, but too many times I feel like I have to have read earlier books to understand what's going on. I also think that some that had the potential to catch me didn't because I didn't start at the beginning. Ack! But there's just not enough time!