Cover Image: Hello, Transcriber

Hello, Transcriber

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Member Reviews

HELLO, TRANSCRIBER by Hannah Morrissey was a dark, enjoyable murder mystery. I loved Morrissey's writing, her characters, and the setting! Of the thrillers/mysteries I've read recently, this was a top pick. A fun read with resolution I didn't see coming. I am excited to see what Morrissey writes next!

Thanks to NetGalley for the ARC, which I received in exchange for my honest review.
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This was a dark, serious but slow burn mystery. I finished it quickly but felt a little disappointed in some of the characters' choices and the predictability. Thankful for the ARC!
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Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for the digital ARC to preview for our library! 

Interesting read where you weren't sure which characters to like, which ones to hate & which ones to feel sorry for!  Morrissey's work as a transcriber comes thru in the developing relationships!  It was easy to see how of an opinion can be formed sometimes only based hearing one's voice alone.
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This is a somewhat broody story surrounding a young woman named Hazel, who having just moved to the dead end town of Black Harbor, has taken a night job as a police transcriber. Considering, she can type at the speed of lightning and she is a budding author, she finds herself right at home translating oral reports into written reports for the city’s police. Whatever  happiness she finds is fleeting; however, when Hazel’s neighbor interrupts a normal day by tapping on the glass outside Hazel’s office, with a finger that isn’t his. This leads to the discovery of a young boy, who having overdosed, was dumped in the trash can in the apartment building across the street from police headquarters. Now with a spate of overdoses, the pressure is on to unmask and apprehend the dealer known as the Candy Man. Perhaps because of her somewhat miserable life, Hazel Is drawn in closer to the investigation than is perhaps safe for her. There is a sadness to this story, a certain darkness that kinda made me sad. The author gets an A for atmosphere, painting the cold, desolate town of Black Harbor as the last place I’d want to find myself. The story did  become a little slow for me in the middle section, but it does a good job of finishing strong and closing all the open ends, so we aren’t left wondering for anything. Review posted to Amazon, Litsy, LibraryThing, Goodreads, Facebook, Instagram,.
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I think my issue with this one was ultimately expectations. I expected a police procedural and an interesting look at a fascinating career but instead I got a dash of that with a lot of uninspired romantic suspense (including cheating). The mystery was interesting but felt a little exaggerated and unbelievable at most times and the prose was fairly distracting when it came to descriptive terms. Just wasn't for me.
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“Hello, Transcriber,” builds slowly with several layers of mystery. There are the homicides and cases that the detectives are investigating and like voyeurs the reader and the transcriber learn detailed accounts of them.. Then things get complicated as the story and mystery of the transcriber herself unfolds. It all comes together in an explosive conclusion. Not a typical mystery,
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Hello, Transcriber is an excellent debut murder mystery/thriller. The story follows Hazel, a police transcriber who becomes obsessed with a case right in her neighborhood and the deputy assigned to it. There are plenty of twists and turns to keep readers intrigued. Highly recommended!
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This was about a 3.5 star read for me.  There were a few things that I found pretty annoying in the book ... the descriptions of Hazel's husband and her sexual experiences with him (cringe-y and gross), the repetitive "comma" and "period" in the transcriptions - couldn't the author have just italicized the text that was transcribed rather than having to constantly read "comma" and "period" and the ending.  I don't like books that don't wrap up the ending nicely.  After all that investment, the reader is left hanging ... 

This review was also published on Goodreads.
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Hazel, an aspiring writer, has just started a new job as a police transcriber in Black Harbor. She is working one night when her neighbour claims he hid the body of an overdose victim in a dumpster. This leads to Hazel being very involved in an investigation surrounding Candy Man, a dangerous drug dealer, and becoming very involved with the lead detective, Nik.

I expected a crime thriller, but I would say this is more of a romantic suspense novel! There is a big focus on the romance throughout the story. I was HOOKED for the first three quarters of the book. It is suspenseful, fast-paced, with a very intriguing premise! It also explores dark, emotional topics such as addition, family relationships, and abuse. It takes a bit of a random turn in the last quarter, and I was very surprised by some details! Overall I still enjoyed this story and will look out for the author's future work!

Thank you to Minotaur Books and NetGalley for my e-copy.
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I had a hard time staying interested in this story, unfortunately. The synopsis convinced me that this book would be fast paced and thrilling, but to be honest, it focused far too much on the procedural aspect of the police transcriber life than it did the thrilling mystery aspect. It was still a well written story, with a satisfying conclusion, but ultimately it did little for me.
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This debut novel first caught my attention with its fictional Wisconsin setting. Black Harbor, Wisconsin is a small city on Lake Michigan with the rates of a much larger city. Narrator Hazel, at twenty-six, starts a new job with the Black Harbor police department as a transcriber. But Hazel has bigger dreams than Black Harbor and the loveless marriage that she's in. She aspires to be a real writer with the kind of career that will allow her to live anywhere. Determined to write what she knows, Hazel starts finding herself drawn into the investigations that she transcribes - particularly when an acquaintance is also involved. She also can't resist the lead investigator's magnetism - leading her to soon take bigger and bigger risks. 

While the plot does hold some surprises, especially as the body count rises, and the pacing moves along fairly quickly. I did read this in a day, but I just didn't enjoy this as much as I had hoped to. It's well-written, but the transcribing sections with the mentions of punctuation really takes the reader out of the action - though I suppose these would be less distracting in an audio version. But my major issues lies with the characters - Hazel is unlikable. While her marriage doesn't seem pleasant - the ten years they spent together do seem like she shouldn't have been so surprised by Tommy's hobbies or the squalor of the lifestyle he can provide... Her actions dominate the novel and not liking her makes it hard to like the book.

While the ending is satisfying, I never found myself rooting for Hazel. Her physical appearance and beauty is emphasized throughout, but her actions reveal a shallow and ugly person. I suppose this makes her more realistic, but since she doesn't like herself much, either, it makes it all the harder for the reader to like her. The side storyline with her sister also seems thrown in to make this book feel more current - it doesn't add to the book and it doesn't fit with Tommy at all based on his comments. I just didn't love this one...
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3.5 stars. An interesting addition to the crime literature sphere, but unfortunately not for me.

Many thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for an advanced copy of this novel in exchange for my honest review.
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Hello, Transcriber is multiple books in one. Described as a mystery/thriller, that genre seems to be just the background for the romance that occurs between the detective and the unhappily married police transcriber during the investigation of a possible murder. Add in the opioid crisis, sibling issues, mommy issues, transgender acceptance,  women hating on women in the workplace, and oh yeah, the murder, it's hard for the reader to focus on the actual thriller part. 
I was entertained by the book but think either fleshing out how all those parts pertain to or propel the storyline or editing some of them out, would have taken Hello, Transcriber to the next level. 

Thank you to Netgalley for my copy.
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I was excited for this book because I thought that having the POV of a transcriber would be an interesting new premise, one I've never read before. It was just okay for me. I didn't like one of the major tropes it played off of, and the overdose victim being a child was a bit much. I do think it was well written, and I would read another book by this author, hoping to see improvements in plot construction.
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I received an advanced copy of this text by Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This book should have been so much better than it turned out. Hopefully Ms. Morrissey did some revisions and cleared up some plot holes before publication.
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Read 27% of the way into this book but kept starting and stopping. I had trouble getting into it and figured it was better to review as is. It was written well just not my cup of tea.
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I was so excited for a transcription-focused thriller but nothing about the description with "her neighbor confesses to hiding the body of an overdose victim in a dumpster" from the author/publisher mentions that the death is of a 9-year-old boy. If you can handle that, the rest of the novel is fairly good but not the best.

Thanks to #NetGalley for the ARC of #HelloTranscriber in exchange for my honest review.
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As a transcriptionist myself, I was really excited to read this book. I had an idea in my head on what it would be but that’s not really how the story went at all.

Hazel is a transcriptionist for a police department but also an author who “writes what she knows.” She is unhappy with her life, it seems, making the book a little depressing - her husband is self-centered, her sister seems perfect, her mom left her when she was 17, and she is lonely. Enter a good looking police detective, who she becomes instantly smitten with, and starts having an affair with while trying to help him solve a drug/murder case.

The story was interesting but not really about the transcription side of things like I thought it would be. It was more so about her taking control of her life and figuring things out. I didn’t really like Hazel all that much (or any of the characters, really). She came across as wishy-washy, a real push over, and not really understanding the meaning of boundaries. The whole thing seemed dark and depressing --  from her, to the crimes, to the job, to the relationships.

It was an OK read for me, worth it for those who like a romantic, dark, whodunnit kind of read.
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Hazel Greenlee is transcriber for the Black Harbor, Wisconsin police department.  She is also an introvert and an aspiring author, who is involved in a toxic marriage, and living in a depressing and crime-ridden town. True crime has always fascinated Hazel and her new job is a perfect fit. As a particularly heinous crime unfolds she finds herself inexplicably drawn to Nik, the lead detective.

Hello, Transcriber is Hannah Morrissey debut novel with a terrific premise.  It is atmospheric and gritty and the reader can certainly feel Hazel’s dreary existence and lack of hope.  The author’s writing abilities truly shine as she relates Hazel’s conflicts, her lack of direction, and her social awkwardness. The mystery itself is fairly straightforward and, while it could be quite interesting, the author seems to concentrate more on the relationship between Hazel and Nik.  For me, this relationship/romance feels somewhat out of place and the amount of ink that is expended on this aspect of the story unnecessary.

Nevertheless, Ms Morrissey shows tremendous potential with her first novel and I’m looking forward to many more.

Many thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for providing a copy of this book for review.
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Hazel Greenlee has just moved to Black Harbor, Wisconsin with her husband Tommy. A rundown small town with lots of crime and a bridge notorious for its suicides. She gets a job as a police transcriber. She’s a fast and accurate typist, as well as an aspiring novelist, so she’s hoping to make a good living while also getting material for a new book, maybe one that will help her get out the town. 

Hazel works nights, a dark and atmospheric job in a dark and atmospheric town. But when her next-door neighbor confesses to helping hide the dead body of a 9-year-old child, Hazel finds herself sucked into a complicated case of drug-dealing, double-crossing, and murder, starting with the just-back-from suspension detective Nikolai Kole. As she types up his reports, his voice burrows beneath her skin, and when she finally meets him in person, she can feel the arc of electricity between them. 

Tommy is controlling and spends his time off of work hunting with his friends or drinking and playing video games, so Hazel finds herself more and more drawn to the mysterious detective Kole, even going so far as to offer to go into a crime scene and look for the drugs his anonymous source said were there. The man who supplied the drugs that killed the young boy, the drug dealer known as Candy Man, had been murdered in his home. And as soon as Hazel walks into the apartment, she can feel the evil in the room. Detective Kole is in the room before she can even get oriented, telling her that it was a bad idea for her to go into the crime scene, and just as they are about to share a steamy kiss, they see the bag filled with drugs, right where Kole had been told it would be. 

As the weeks go by and the bodies pile up—another child who accidentally overdoses, the murder of Kole’s confidential informant—Hazel is pulled into the investigation one report at a time. She uses the information to feed her own writing, and she uses the electricity she feels with Kole to give her the courage to end her marriage. 

But the more she learns about the intricacies of the case, the more she realizes that Kole has been in the center of everything. Is it possible that Hazel is falling for a murderer? And if so, what will keep her from becoming the subject of his next police report? 

Hello, Transcriber is a dark, atmospheric slow burn thriller that infuses a solid crime story with a powerful setting. The bridge in Dark Harbor, known for its jumpers, takes center stage as a main character throughout the story, popping up in powerful and unexpected places, adding so much texture and danger. Author Hannah Morrissey’s debut crime novel is compelling, shifting in its complexity, keeping readers coming back to the page over and over. 

Hello, Transcriber is not an easy book to read. It is painful and difficult. The crimes are heart-breaking. The characters are beaten down. But they are not out. They fight back to find their courage, to find their answers, to find their way out. It’s a difficult journey, but it’s a powerful story, and the payoff is worth the path through the darkness. I can’t wait to read what Morrissey writes next. 

Egalleys for Hello, Transcriber were provided by St. Martin’s Press through NetGalley, with many thanks.
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