Hannah Morrissey's Hello, Transcriber is a captivating mystery suspense debut featuring a female police transcriber who goes beyond the limits to solve a harrowing case.
Every night, while the street lamps shed the only light on Wisconsin's most crime-ridden city, police transcriber Hazel Greenlee listens as detectives divulge Black Harbor's gruesome secrets. As an aspiring writer, Hazel believes that writing a novel could be her only ticket out of this frozen hellscape. And then her neighbor confesses to hiding the body of an overdose victim in a dumpster.
The suspicious death is linked to Candy Man, a notorious drug dealer. Now Hazel has a first row seat to the investigation and becomes captivated by the lead detective, Nikolai Kole. Intrigued by the prospects of gathering eyewitness intel for her book, Hazel joins Kole in exploring Black Harbor's darkest side. As the investigation unfolds, Hazel will learn just how far she'll go for a good story—even if it means destroying her marriage and luring the killer to her as she plunges deeper into the city she's desperate to claw her way out of.
Aspiring novelist Hazel Greenlee, the narrator of Morrissey's solid debut, takes a transcription job with the Black Harbor, Wis., police department, hoping to minimize time spent with her domineering husband and inspire her fiction. Hazel knows the impoverished city has a high crime rate but is still shocked when her neighbor's 26-year-old son, Sam Samson, appears at the precinct and confesses to hiding a body. In typing reports for the investigator on the case, Nik Kole, Hazel learns that Sam allegedly helped drug dealer Tyler Krejarek carry a nine-year-old boy to a dumpster after the child overdosed on Oxycodone in Tyler's apartment. Tyler then fled. Intrigued, Hazel chats up Nik, who enlists her assistance in an unsanctioned search. Attraction sparks, triggering decisions that endanger Hazel's marriage, employment, and safety. Despite an overwritten opening and some shaggy plotting, this mystery largely succeeds thanks to its strong sense of place and realistically flawed heroine. Hazel's thorny relationships provide regular infusions of tension that catapult the tale to a dramatic close. Morrissey is off to a promising start. Agent: Sharon Pelletier, Dystel, Goderich & Bourret.