Hello, Transcriber

Previous article
Next article

By Hannah Morrissey

Hazel Greenlee dreams of being a writer. The necessity of earning a living and her impressive typing speed and accuracy lead her to become the night shift transcriber for the Black Harbor Police Department.

Just as her training is ending, a man outside bumps into the one-way mirrored window of her office. He writes a message that he’s hidden a body. He’s using a child’s finger bone to write with. She recognizes him as the son of the man living in the other half of the duplex where she and her husband live.

Her job gives her a ring-side seat on the investigation. It also brings her closer and closer to Nikolai Kole, freshly returned from a suspension and now a lead investigator in the overdose death of the child, whose body her neighbor had helped toss into a dumpster.

Caught in a souring marriage, Hazel and her husband Tommy live in a house “filled with dead things: the squirrel he stuffed for a high school taxidermy course, a ten-point buck mounted to the wall by the TV, rabbit pelt pillows on the couch. As for the guns that killed them, we have more of them than we do fingers for their triggers.”

Nik Kole seems like the perfect antidote: a handsome bad boy who might be a committed cop — or he might be a bent one.

For Hazel, whose marriage is shot through with threat, whose dreams of being a writer seem so improbable as to be insane, Nik is irresistibly seductive. But as more murders occur, it becomes less and less certain whether Hazel’s escape from her present life will be leaping off the local suicide bridge, into the arms of Nik Kole, at the hands of the Black Harbor slasher or in a direction that she defines for herself.

Author Hannah Morrissey has written a dark, atmospheric and suspenseful thriller. Her writing is vivid and sensual and her characters three-dimensional and realistic. This is a satisfying mystery.

A second Black Harbor novel, THE WIDOWMAKER, was published in 2022. The third Black Harbor novel, WHEN I’M DEAD, was released Oct. 31, 2023.

About the Author: Hannah Morrissey

Hannah Morrissey’s debut novel, HELLO, TRANSCRIBER, reflects much of her own life. She grew up in a small northern Wisconsin town. Between working as a bookseller and a copywriter, she spent three and a half years transcribing police reports and thinking about her novel.

Her husband is a police lieutenant. They live near Milwaukee with two pugs who sleep at Hannah’s feet as she writes.

She started her education in a two-room schoolhouse and went on to earn a bachelor’s degree in English with an emphasis in creative writing from the University of Wisconsin, Madison.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here