Your Host
Lee Rawles

Lee Rawles joined the ABA Journal in 2010 as a web producer. She has also worked for the Winston-Salem...

Alafair Burke’s fascination with crime stories came far before her career as a novelist, or her work as first a prosecutor and then a law professor.

“When I was growing up in Wichita, there was an active serial killer there who called himself ‘BTK,’ which stood for ‘Bind, Torture and Kill,’ which is kind of not a good thing to hear when you’re 8 years old,” she tells the ABA Journal’s Lee Rawles. “And I was always obsessed with crime. I still am. At any given time, I’m watching some story on the news or following some case from afar—but at the time it wasn’t from afar, it was right there. And my experience of living in a place that you would think of as very safe and very quiet, that was actually a very violent place to live, becomes part of Ellie Hatcher’s backstory.”

All Day and a Night is Burke’s fifth book featuring Ellie Hatcher, a New York City police detective. When a murder occurs that is similar to those credited to an imprisoned serial killer, Hatcher and her partner are assigned to review the decades-old cases to determine if an innocent man is serving life without parole. And in a parallel narrative, Carry Blank, the attorney sister of one of the victims, is asked to serve as defense counsel for the imprisoned man, Anthony Amaro. A scene from Blank’s childhood in which her classmates discuss the killings on the playground was informed by Burke’s own memories. Nothing is necessarily as it seems, and people who may seem like stock characters turn out to be much more complex than at first glance.

In this podcast, Burke discusses her work as a writer, Hofstra Law School professor and former deputy district attorney in Portland, Oregon. She also shares a peek into her upcoming book project with one of the original titans of crime fiction, Mary Higgins Clark. And we find out what it’s like to write long-running series–in addition to the Ellie Hatcher series, Burke has written three books featuring prosecutor Samantha Kincaid–and how to deal with a fan base that develops decided opinions on what your characters would or would not do.

Mentioned in This Episode

All Day and a Night by Alafair Burke

Episode Details
Published: July 28, 2014
Podcast: ABA Journal: Modern Law Library
Podcast
ABA Journal: Modern Law Library
ABA Journal: Modern Law Library

ABA Journal: Modern Law Library features top legal authors and their works.

Listen & Subscribe
  Apple Podcasts
  Google Play
More Episodes
01/09/19
How introverted lawyers can harness their traits for success

Heidi Brown talks about honoring yourself, affirming what’s true and embracing the blush.

12/19/18
How to avoid burnout and be “The Best Lawyer You Can Be”

Stewart Levine talks about how to engage in self-reflection, and how to implement more positive habits, self-care and collaboration into the often-stressful lawyer lifestyle.

12/05/18
3 trial court judges share the tough cases that stuck with them

Three judges share their own stories in their book “Tough Cases: Judges Tell the Stories of Some of the Hardest Decisions They’ve Ever Made."

11/20/18
How this lawyer turned a love for sports into his career

Darren Heitner talks about the latest edition of his book, how to pursue a career in sports law and some of today’s hot topics...

11/07/18
Ken Starr shares his side of the Clinton investigation in ‘Contempt’

Ken Starr talks about his book "Contempt: A Memoir of the Clinton Investigation," which unveiled the salacious details of President Bill Clinton's affair with...

10/24/18
How to stop worrying and learn to love data-driven law

Ed Walters talks about his book, “Data-Driven Law: Data Analytics and the New Legal Services" which discusses data informs and the aspects of modern...