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Hello, Transcriber


Hello, Transcriber

Sometimes it feels like the whole city is holding its breath, waiting for another body to turn up so there are more clues to piece together. One will. I have no doubt. It’s Black Harbor, after all.

Rewind a few weeks. Hazel Greenlee stood on the Forge Bridge, staring into the murky waters below. She had just been hired as the Black Harbor Police Department’s new transcriber. She needed the job. It’s the night shift, but that’s fine. Hailing from further north in Wisconsin, Hazel didn’t feel like she fit in here anyway. She’d only come because of her husband Tommy’s work, which doesn’t pay well at all. So they need the money this job will provide. There’s a certain thrill to typing the details of the overnight crimes in Black Harbor. Hazel hears it all first, and there’s a lot to hear. The town may be small, but it’s big on crime. Hazel comes to the Forge Bridge often. She feels lured there, drawn to leave an offering. The bridge seems to require a sacrifice, like the many lives it has claimed.

"...a spectacular debut.... I have never read anything like HELLO, TRANSCRIBER before, but I definitely want to read another. Please, Ms. Morrissey, write more."

Hazel is still settling into her routine when their neighbor, Sam, confesses to a gruesome act. She doesn’t want to put her new job in jeopardy, so she tries to distance herself from Sam. Hazel never admits she might have valuable information, but secretly knows she’s walking a thin line. Not only does she live in the same duplex as Sam and his dad, Tommy spends nearly every evening with them next door. And Sam’s dad clearly deals drugs. Black Harbor is seeing a rash of drug-related deaths lately. She suspects that there must be a connection. While she wants to help, Hazel can’t bring herself to talk about Sam and his dad to the Black Harbor Police. So she consults the waters under Forge Bridge.

Hazel hears about a police investigator who has been on suspension, Nikolai Kole. So how can he now be submitting a report on this case? She’s instantly intrigued. And once she meets the man in the flesh, Hazel can’t stop thinking about him. Apparently, Kole is back working, investigating Sam’s case. At one point, she finds herself helping him with part of the investigation he can’t pull off himself, and this puts the two of them in dangerous waters. That should have been a one-off, but of course it wasn’t. After that, Kole slips into her mind constantly. Hazel thinks of him more and more. She even fantasizes about him. When she hears his voice on the recordings, it sends tingles up her spine. Oh, Hazel, what have you gotten yourself into?

She’s gotten herself into secret meetings, trysts and open flirtations, that’s what. Hazel has crossed into forbidden territory, but she doesn’t care. What she once had, she realizes, was not right for her. What she’s heading into now may not be either, but she has to take the journey to find out. And it’s a journey that nearly kills her.

Hannah Morrissey's HELLO, TRANSCRIBER is a spectacular debut. Hazel Greenlee splashes onto the literary scene as a complex, unique, gutsy, scared yet brave woman who lacks confidence but seizes opportunities as they present themselves. In other words, like many of us, Hazel is unsure of what she wants. However, she jumps into situations with both feet almost without thinking. If she does stop to think, she ignores taboos and lets her heart take her where it will. It takes her into danger and on an emotional rollercoaster, and to a place of necessary healing.

I have never read anything like HELLO, TRANSCRIBER before, but I definitely want to read another. Please, Ms. Morrissey, write more.

Reviewed by Kate Ayers on December 3, 2021

Hello, Transcriber
by Hannah Morrissey

  • Publication Date: October 25, 2022
  • Genres: Fiction, Mystery, Suspense, Thriller
  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Minotaur Books
  • ISBN-10: 1250847419
  • ISBN-13: 9781250847416