by Hannah Morrissey
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Pub Date 30 Nov 2021 | Archive Date 14 Dec 2021
St. Martin's Press, Minotaur Books
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. An aspiring novelist, Hazel believes that writing a book could be her only ticket out of this frozen hellscape, but her life isn’t exactly brimming with inspiration. Until her neighbor confesses to hiding the corpse of an overdose victim.
With an insider’s look at the investigation, Hazel becomes spellbound by the lead detective, Nikolai Kole, and the chilling narrative he shares with her. Through his transcription, she learns that the suspicious death is linked to Candy Man—a drug dealer notorious for selling illegal substances to children—and when Kole invites her on a covert operation to help take the dealer down, the promise of a story calls to her. As the investigation unfolds, Hazel will discover just how far she will go for her story, even if it means destroying her marriage, her career, and any chance she has of getting out of Black Harbor alive. Because if she’s learned one relentless truth about this place, it’s the fact that everybody lies.
"Hello, Transcriber is a dark, atmospheric, and compelling debut by a unique talent. I was sucked in immediately and could think of little else until the last page.” —C.J. Box, #1 New York Times bestselling author
"An edgy and haunting crime novel with a complex and world-weary heroine at the center. Hannah Morrissey writes with passion, razor-edged prose, and most importantly, authenticity. A former police transcriber herself, she knows the cops and criminals and those who bridge the worlds between. No doubt destined to become one of this year's best debuts." —Ace Atkins, New York Times bestselling author
"As poetic as it is suspenseful, Hello, Transcriber delivers a refreshing slant on the police procedural. With evocative prose, intriguing and layered characters, and a setting so vivid it infiltrated my dreams, Hannah Morrissey establishes herself as an exciting new voice in literary suspense." —Megan Collins, author of The Winter Sister and Behind the Red Door
"Hannah Morrissey's precise, lyrical prose, chilling sense of atmosphere, and talent for crafting sexual tension just as twisted as the central crime make her haunting debut Hello, Transcriber a unique and exciting new entry in the contemporary crime genre." —Layne Fargo, author of They Never Learn
Available on NetGalley
Average rating from 207 members
This book’s depressing, melancholic tone is effective trigger reminding you of your past resentments, forcing you to confront your inner sadness! Somewhat it also reminded me of dark, intense tone of Liz Moore’s Long Bright River with a remarkable difference: this book’s heroine doesn’t look for missing sister, she’s looking for her lost innocence and something concrete to live for!
Hazel Greenlee is one of the most complex characters I’ve ever read. Yes, she’s living in a place with her ecologist husband brings out freshly hunted animal food to their table each day and spends his entire time to hunt more. She’s in pain, everything hurts, even sex with her husband… She’s broken inside but she hides it too well by keeping her long silences, spending days without having meaningful communication with real people.
Her influencer sister already criticized her for wasting her potential. After being stuck between more meaningless jobs, she decides to get the job at Black Harbor’s police transcriber position.
Black Harbor is the haunted place, Wisconsin’s most crime- ridden city. The author gives us vivid, realistic and embellished descriptions help us to see the city as living, breathing, functioning human being. Even the terrifying suicide bridge has its own characteristics, taking all those lives, summoning the souls of the people who are trapped in limbo. Hazel may know about that bridge more than anyone : she has dysfunctional connection with it. Maybe the bridge is the only place, she can come clean with herself. The only place she stops pretending.
Her new job at night shift helps her get away from her home, her marriage, her haunted past. She has magical fingers which types faster than any other transcribers who worked at the department and she has English degree which makes her perfect!
But a gruesome crime she’s transcribed forced her cross paths with charismatic officer Kole Nikolai who has been recently suspended and returned back to his job. And the case is connected to her neighbor Sam who confesses to hide a young kid who is overdosed. There is a dangerous guy out there called Candy Man poisons the little kid with his drug supplies and he needs to be stopped!
As soon as Hazel starts helping Kole about she finds herself involve in darkest secrets of Black Harbor and she also finds herself drawn into this enigmatic man who has more secrets than her.
This book’s writing style is simply perfect! It shakes you to the core, making you feel everything. You feel the deep sadness of the characters who are trapped in their lives and suffocating, finding a way out. The portraits, realistic depictions, intriguing pacing capture your entire attention. You keep guessing the culprit till the end. And that heartbreaking ending was best conclusion for this haunting story!
I’m so happy this book put this amazing author on my radar. I’m looking forward to read more works of her in near future!
Special thanks to NetGalley and St. Martin’s Press/ Minotaur Books for sharing this digital reviewer copy with me in exchange my honest thoughts.
St. Martin's Press/Minotaur Books where are you at so I can kiss your face off?! No seriously! 😘😍
These publishers have/going to release some amazing new releases!
And I've been so honored and grateful to you for allowing me to read and review some of them!
Hello, Transcriber has been high on my list for awhile now! Even though this doesn't release till November 30th I had to dive right into it!
And y'all sure has hell won't want to miss this crazy ass ride Hannah Morrissey takes you on in this book!
I was gripped from get go. The very first page sparked and I was lite.
She write so flawlessly and amazingly. Its pretty cool. And I love it!
So here we are in Wisconsin's most crime-ridden city Black Harbor.... And police transcriber Hazel Greenlee get to listen while detectives spill the city's most guts wrenching secrets!
Hazel is an up and coming writing. She is writing a novel that could be her only chance to get outta this hell hole they call home.
Until her neighbor confesses to hiding a body due to a drug overdose, in a dumpster.
The death of this individual is connected to Candy Man.... A big known drug dealer..
As luck would have it Hazel has a front and center row to the whole thing!
The lead investigator Nikolai Kole becomes interested in Hazel and the two work together to discover Black Harbor's most inner secrets. Hazel.could end up destroying her marriage. Because she is committed to getting the best story possible. As she hunts down a killer and digs deeper into the city she is trying to get out of!
I loved everything about this book! Not one bad thing! Its completely intriguing, interesting, amazing, heart pounding thriller will be the talk of the fall!
I seriously want to thank NetGalley, and the publishers and my favorite author for this amazing ebook copy!
Bring on more books...... I'm ready!
I will post to my Goodreads and Bookstagram account closer to pub date!
Unique story, captivating plot, and enough action to keep me reading way past my bedtime. This is a really well crafted story. I would love to spend time with the main character, Hazel, if she were real. She enjoys words and the way they feel, and the way they can paint pictures in your mind. Much like this book does.
Wow! I really enjoyed this book! It took me by surprise and on a fantastically wild ride! This is the perfect book for readers looking for a fast paced murder mystery/thriller! The twists, turns and reveals were on point. I was hooked. I look forward to reading more from Hannah Morrissey.
A WILD ride from start to finish! Loved everything about this book from, the complex characters to the plot that kept me guessing. A must read. Thank you NetGalley for the ARC.
Review of Uncorrected Digital Galley
Crime in Black Harbor, Wisconsin keeps the police busy; their reports keep transcriber Hazel Greenlee listening as they detail the gruesome crime scenes. The investigation into a suspicious drug death, linked to a notorious dealer, Candy Man, draws Hazel, who aspires to become a writer, into the investigation. She soon finds herself enthralled with the lead detective, Nikolai Kole, but, in order to protect her ability to be involved in the case, she keeps an important secret from him.
Just how far will Hazel go to get the story?
Complex, well-defined characters populate this story of commitment and integrity. Hazel is disappointed in her marriage; her husband, Tommy, is thoughtlessly cruel, and, for Hazel, their marriage has become a game of survival.
For two years, Hazel and Tommy have called a duplex in Black Harbor home. Tommy is an aquatic ecologist, hired by the city because the lake is inexorably encroaching on the shoreline. Job-searching Hazel, who types one hundred eleven words per minute with ninety-eight percent accuracy, is well-suited for the police transcriber position that she interviews for and accepts.
Anchored by a strong sense of place [and the Forge Bridge], the unfolding story is, despite the ongoing police investigation into opioid-related deaths, less mystery and more of a woman’s introspective scrutiny to reveal the truth about her marriage and herself.
Plot twists and unforeseen revelations keep the tension building; both the investigation into the drug deaths and the denouement yield some unexpected surprises. However, the elegiac undercurrent running throughout the captivating story gives the narrative a pensive, somber tone. Readers are likely to find it difficult to put this book aside before turning the final page.
I received a free copy of this eBook from St. Martin’s Press / Minotaur Books and NetGalley
Great read! Hazel is writing a novel that she feels will help get her out of a dead end town full of crime. Her fantastic typing skills lands her a transcriber position . Hazel is intrigued by the detective Kole and becomes involved in the crimes of her town. Her marriage is a wreak, and she is now involved with the detective. Hazel has gotten herself too deep in surroundied by danger.
A very solid addition to the crowded crime genre featuring a protag in a unique position. A recommended purchase for collections where thrillers are popular.
A very dark, atmospheric book! Well written, captivating, and intense! One of those books that absolutely grips you from beginning until the very end! Fast paced, unique, and unputdownable! Highly, highly recommend this riveting story full of twist and turns, chills, thrills, and shocks! Mind blowing good!
Will buzz around platforms and use my top Amazon reviewer number!
Thank you to St. Martin's Press and NetGalley for this ARC in exchange for an honest review!
Hello, Transcriber by Hannah Morrissey is an unsettling thriller with a dark atmosphere. The story revolves around new police transcriber Hazel Greenlee as she gets caught up in a murder case that has ties to a notorious criminal and drug dealer, the Candyman. Her neighbor confesses to hiding a body. Who is the dead boy? Was he murdered? And was the murderer the Candyman or someone else? As I read this book, I found myself very interested in the details of Hazel's job as a transcriber. Although it may seem like a menial job, the stories of the police officers that she describes are gripping and violent. Later, Hazel starts to become part of the investigation in ways outside of her job description, which I wasn't expecting, and her attempts to help with the investigation are a major positive aspect of this thriller.
Here is an excerpt from Chapter 1 that shows the grim, noir-like atmosphere of the book:
"I shouldn’t be here.
It’s stark daylight. The evergreens cut sharp silhouettes, arrowheads piercing a pearl sky. Someone will see the woman standing on Forge Bridge and they’ll call the police or try to save me themselves.
No, they won’t. This is Black Harbor, a purgatory where people mind their own. I could scream bloody murder, and it’s not that no one would hear me—someone probably would—but they would write me off, convince themselves that I’m just a rabbit being eaten by a hawk or something.."
Here's another excerpt from Chapter 1 that details the setting of Black Harbor:
"Two years ago when we moved to Black Harbor, I took to the running trail in the woods across the street from the duplex Tommy and I split with Old Will and his son. It stretches and winds through the entire city, but the part I run on most often is a five-mile strip that spits me out at Forge Bridge. It called to me like a siren. I was already halfway across when I suddenly felt its railroad ties creaking beneath my feet, and I stared for the first time into the cruel black below. Everything went silent, then, as it demanded something of me. Just one piece. A tribute in exchange for it letting me remain above its obsidian surface."
As you can tell, this book is dark, and it was much darker than many of the thrillers that I've read lately. I was reminded of noir TV shows like The Killing in that the shadowy atmosphere of the city seems to play a large role. Overall, Hello, Transcriber is a mystery set in a seedy city that will appeal to readers of police procedurals or detective stories. I could have done without the romance, but I found this book to be unputdownable. I found myself drawn into the story, and I could not stop reading this book until I had finished it. I especially enjoy thrillers with amateur detectives, so I found Hazel's character to be intriguing. She's an unusual character in that she's interested in solving the case, but she's also rather emotionless and detached from it, which added to the noir-like atmosphere. Not every reader will like her, but I found her very professional and clinical narration to be a breath of fresh air. If you're intrigued by the excerpts above, or if you're a fan of the thriller genre, I highly recommend that you check out this book when it comes out in November!
Hazel Greenlee has taken a new job as a transcriber for the local police station of Black Harbor. Police man continuously file reports on tape for her opening with "Hello, Transcriber." She excels at transcribing and quickly falls into the rhythm of the job. It's not long before she finds herself enmeshed in a drug story that includes her duplex neighbor. Worse yet, it's being investigated by the very attractive Nik Kole. Lots of questions follow - who is at fault, who is guilty, will Hazel cheat on her very unlikeable husband?
This is a very atmospheric novel. I loved how it could have taken place anywhere and that I fully believed in Hazel's self sabotage. The mystery was less interesting to me than the choices Hazel ultimately makes - I think that signifies very interesting and complex characters.
If you like police-based novels, atmospheric, almost gothic descriptions and complex characters than I would recommend this book to you! just remember, its gritty and urban and there is violence made more violent with excellent descriptions.
I started this Sunday and had read like 40 percent in the pool and only stopped because I realized my skin was frying lol! I was honestly upset when I had to stop reading - darn adulting and responsibilities! I have since spent every free moment at home devouring this - even though I had figured it out early on it was still a great page turner and so well written!!! I now want to see if Hazel’s Job as a transcriber is real because it sounds so interesting and I kind of want to do it (I know it is a book but for real she sold me on this job!!!)
If you like thrillers , mystery books, etc I def recommend this - as a bonus there is a bit of steam and romance in there too!
Between the cover, the synopsis, and the rave blurbs from some of my favorite authors, I knew I had to read this ASAP.
Hello, Transcriber follows Hazel as she starts a new job as a transcriber for a police department in a small town. A murder with personal ties, she finds herself engrossed by the case. As she listens to the details in the reports, she becomes fascinated by Detective Nikolai Kole and decides to use her position to gather intel and experience for her book.
What a great read.
Hazel's voice is stellar. From the structure to the dialogue, Morrissey nails the execution of a woman who is dissatisfied in her life and yearning for more. From her marriage to her career pursuits, she has no clue what she wants or how to get it, but she's determined to find out, consequences be damned. I loved this transitional, almost transitory mindset--especially in the moments of raw honesty and dry humor. We get an interesting character development, as other characters' opinions of Hazel juxtapose with our own. They point out her accent. They criticize her attire. The gossip is rampant, even though we're limited to these impressions by Hazel's POV, so when we get these other truths, the impact is just as jarring. Have we been blinded by our perceptions? Really cool narrative choices.
I particularly loved the moments with Kole, ugly and beautiful alike. No spoilers, of course, but there's so much to unpack from their interactions, and I think many readers are going to find them equally compelling. This has shades of voyeuristic, Evil, You vibes, so if you're into creepy undertones, this will definitely be the book for you.
Compelling, raw, and un-put-downable, Hello, Transcriber is about to be your new obsession.
Big thanks to Minotaur and NetGalley for providing an eARC in exchange for honest review consideration.
WOW!! That was a wild ride. I thoroughly enjoyed this story!! I usually read books pretty quickly but this one I savored like a fine wine. The way the story is written is so absorbing, and immersive. I actually got chills when the story took place in the cold!! The characters were complex, flawed and so interesting. The main character, Hazel, is not your run of the mill protagonist. She is not only trying to uncover a mystery but she is grappling with a lot of stress in her personal life. Hazel's personal struggles are just as intriguing as the killings in the small community of Black Harbor which make this a fantastic debut! Make sure to add this to your TBR pile immediately!!!
Get ready for quite the ride! Hello, Transcriber grabs you from the first page and doesn’t let go. Underlying trepidation takes the reader through the plot twists and turns throughout the novel. If you love mystery, psychological thrillers, Read This Book!
This is a mystery/suspense novel that isn’t cookie-cutter genre fiction. The storytelling is original, and the author enabled me to feel like my concern for the protagonist, Hazel, is something I discovered on my own rather than the author manipulating my feelings.
Hazel has followed her husband to Black Harbor, Wisconsin, because of his job detailing the environmental effects of the industry that devastated the physical environment as well as the citizens—when it shut down, most jobs ceased to exist along with it—except for careers connected to law enforcement, where there are jobs aplenty since when people don’t have access to a decent way to earn a living, they sometimes turn to drug sales and/or use..
Hazel gets a job working nights as a transcriber for the police department. She’s an aspiring author, and when she transcribes a case of a nine-year-old boy who may be the victim of the Candy Man, she starts writing again. It doesn’t hurt that the case is being led by the impossibly handsome officer Nik Kole.
This is a slight dark novel. Unhappy marriages, towns ravaged because of economics and environmental destruction, a person’s own inability to break out of unhealthy cycles, it’s not a happy tale, but I couldn’t wait to get back to reading it when I had to stop for other reasons, which is one of the nicest compliments I can give a book.
Thanks to NetGalley for the opportunity to read this novel, which RELEASES NOVEMBER 30, 2021.
You know that feeling when you find a book that makes you want to savor every single word? Welcome to HELLO, TRANSCRIBER.
From page one, I was wholly invested in aspiring author and police transcriber Hazel Greenlee’s life in frozen, gritty, Gotham-esque Black Harbor. This moody mystery is a richly drawn and brilliantly written account of Hazel’s life as she gets pulled into investigator Nikolai Kole’s orbit and his search for elusive drug dealer Candy Man. When her next-door neighbor/husband's friend confesses to hiding the body of a young boy who overdosed on drugs, and Hazel decides not to tell Kole about her personal connection to the case, her involvement turns dangerous.
Hannah Morrissey's masterful writing style is part of what makes this such an excellent novel. The language she uses to describe Black Harbor, its people, and Hazel's struggle is fresh and captivating, This is Morrissey's debut, and I'm already looking forward to reading more of her wonderful work.
Thanks to NetGalley, St. Martin's Press and Minotaur Books for this ARC!
Wow, wow, wow. Did I say wow?
It takes a lot for a mystery to keep me guessing until the end. I've always thought of myself as a pretty good armchair sleuth, but this did it. I had suspicions, but I was hooked until the end, and this hasn't happened with a mystery in a while.
The book is set in Black Harbor, a town where everything seems dismal all the time. The weather, the people, their fates. It sets the tone wonderfully, though somewhat oxymoronically, for a suspect they call The Candy Man.
I'm super excited to read more by Morrissey; her style and characterization was incredible.
Oh yes, this is an amazing debut. The editing and writing quality was spot on and I look forward to more of Hazel's adventures written by Hannah Morrissey!
When Hazel Greenlee is hired as a transcriber for her local police department, she gets more than she ever bargained for. Hazel is awkward but very intelligent, and somehow jibes with charming but rogue detective Nik Kole. As crimes go down around the small town, Hazel gets drawn in much further than she had ever imagined; she’s just supposed to be the transcriber.
I was surprised about how much I liked this book. The plot was enjoyable, but the prose was just beautiful and haunting. I would read it again for that alone. This is not your typical police procedural or mystery; really, it’s unlike anything I’ve ever read. This is Morrisey’s third book, and I really hope to see more from her if her writing is this powerful every time.
Black Harbor is a crime riddled city that people run away from, not to. Hazel Greenlee has moved there with her husband Tommy, because he found a job there. He hunts for their food and seems overly fond of the guns he keeps around the house. Hazel has aspirations to be an author. She finds a job as a transcriber for the local police force, giving her fodder for the book she is writing.
Hazel is an amazing typist, and doesn’t mind working the night shift. When a young boy is killed during her shift, things change drastically for her. She might know who the killer is, but cannot tell anyone. The detective in charge, Nikolai Kole, sends his report to Hazel. With his voice talking in her ear, she transcribes the events, fearing her involvement by withholding evidence, yet intrigued by the sound of Kole’s voice.
Strangely enough, Kole visits her during the long night. This is the beginning of something between them that is more than inappropriate. Hazel fears her attraction will be discovered by her husband. She also fears the repercussions for not sharing her suspicions about the killer with Kole.
This deliciously dark suspense novel is full of twists and turns. The characters are fully developed and most of them have their own agenda that will stop at nothing to attain their goals.
Hello, Transcriber is Hannah Morrissey’s debut novel. Her previous job as a police transcriber and being the wife of a police officer, brings first-hand knowledge to creating her characters. I highly recommend this fast-paced suspense novel. I cannot wait to see what she writes in the future.
DISCLOSURE OF MATERIAL CONNECTION: I have a material connection because I received a review copy for free from Netgalley in exchange for a fair and honest review. Copyright © 2021 Laura Hartman
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