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Cover-up: A Novel of Suspense (Melanie Vargas) Mass Market Paperback – December 26, 2007


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Product Details

  • Series: Melanie Vargas
  • Mass Market Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Harper; Reprint edition (December 26, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060899018
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060899011
  • Product Dimensions: 6.8 x 4.3 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 0.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,068,029 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. The brutal rape and murder of Suzanne Shepard, a scandal-mongering New York City TV journalist, provides a welcome high-profile case for Melanie Vargas in Martinez's stellar third thriller to feature the sharp and sexy federal prosecutor (after The Finishing School). Melanie accompanies her boyfriend, FBI agent Dan O'Reilly, to the grisly crime scene in Central Park, where someone, later dubbed the Central Park Butcher, has carved "bitch" into the victim's stomach with a hunting knife. In the ensuing joint state-federal investigation, Dan, Melanie and NYPD detective Julian Hay pursue a number of slippery suspects, including a well-known politician who the media claim is getting special treatment. Then Melanie starts receiving threatening e-mails. Could it be the same guy who stalked Shepard, or a celebrity cosmetic surgeon, a fitness trainer who also deals drugs, or a suspicious witness? Martinez, herself a former federal prosecutor, supplies plenty of insider savvy as she juggles the large cast with élan. (Mar.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

What tough, streetwise federal prosecutor Melanie Vargas wants more than anything--well, almost anything--is a break from high-profile cases. What she gets instead is a dead television reporter, a shady Park Avenue doctor, and an anonymous e-mail stalker who seems very determined to get Melanie off the case. Oh, and her relationship with FBI agent Dan O'Reilly is heating up, but can she find a few moments in her busy schedule for love? Author Martinez, a former federal prosecutor, handles the mystery elements of the novel very well, although some readers might find the romance subplot more than a little clumsy, feeling almost tacked on. But the novel's strengths far outweigh its weaknesses, and the success of the first two volumes in the series--Most Wanted (2005) and The Finishing School (2006)--ensures that fans will want to check this one out. David Pitt
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
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The characters are strong and command interest and the plots have been clever as well.
Grandma Hockey
In this book, she also has to worry about investigating the father of one of her friends and co-workers.
Sandy Kay
I love mysteries and thrillers, and this book kept me turning the pages well into the night.
Linda Holman

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Avid Reader on March 22, 2007
Format: Hardcover
I've read her first two books and like the smart mom lawyer angle, like the personal life angst, like the plots. But this novel in particular had cliche-ish prose and dialog. I tried to forgive the prose/dialog as I read along and agreed with the sentiment trying to be expressed, but made the whole reading experience feel cheap.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Donald Mitchell HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on April 10, 2007
Format: Hardcover
If you watch any of the versions of Law and Order that are continually running on one cable channel or another, the local police are quickly pulled into the case following an accidental discovery of a crime. The police lead the way for 20-30 minutes and then the prosecutors start to take over. By the end, we only see cameos of the police as they make brief testimonies and look for last minute evidence. Occasionally, a high-profile crime involves the federal authorities who do their best to oust the local prosecutors and cops. The federal authorities seem to have their own agendas.

Cover-Up is quite a change from that tried-and-true formula. As the story opens, federal prosecutor Melanie Vargas has taking her FBI boyfriend, Dan O'Reilly, out for dinner to celebrate his birthday. Before the evening ends, he's summoned to the crime scene and invites Melanie along. When the local prosecutor can't take the violence at the horrific scene, Melanie finds herself the woman on the stop and is soon handling the press. But the crime scene makes no sense. Why would top investigative reporter, Suzanne Shepard, be out in a part of Central Park known for gay rendezvous in a rainstorm? What's the reason for the extreme violence perpetrated against her? Someone has a grudge, but that's true of everyone she's ever reported on.

The case soon takes on political overtones when the father of one of Melanie's fellow prosecutors is linked to Shepard by a threatening package. Melanie's boss is about to get married and can't be bothered to run proper interference and Melanie is accused of running a cover-up.

In the middle of all this, Melanie acquires a stalker who likes to send threatening e-mails.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Bookreporter on May 29, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Michele Martinez initiates a very subtle change of direction in COVER-UP, her third Melanie Vargas novel. MOST WANTED and THE FINISHING SCHOOL, the first two books in the series, introduced not only Vargas but also a plethora of secondary characters that included several members of Vargas's personal family and circle of co-workers. In COVER-UP, Martinez moves a majority of the characters (Vargas's mother, sister and boss, among others) to the side --- if not off the board entirely --- giving a freshly-divorced Vargas and her blossoming relationship with Dan O'Reilly the opportunity to sparkle.

COVER-UP begins with Assistant U.S. District Attorney Vargas being pulled reluctantly into the lead of the investigation of the savage murder of Suzanne Shepard, a television reporter who has a high Q rating with the viewing public but receives low marks from her prospective targets. Vargas has no shortage of suspects, who range from a celebrity personal trainer to a Park Avenue nip/tuck surgeon to --- most significantly of all --- Clyde Williams, a New York City councilman with designs on the mayor chair who also happens to be the father of one of Vargas's best friends in the office. When Vargas does not immediately bring charges against Williams, Shepard's network screams cover-up, which does not help Vargas's investigation.

Meanwhile, FBI Agent O'Reilly is his usual competent self --- both on the job and between the sheets (functions that, as readers shall see, he sometimes performs simultaneously), though his increasingly frequent nighttime disappearances are giving Vargas pause. To make matters worse, it appears that the killer is now tracking Vargas to the extent that he knows her every move despite her own best efforts.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Bottom line: If you enjoy legal thrillers, I think you will love this book. It is definitely more of a legal thriller than a courtroom drama; little time in the book is spent in court and it is full of suspense as federal prosecutor Melanie Vargas works with the police and FBI to track a twisted and vicious killer.

This is the first of Michele Martinez's books I read, though it is the third one in her Melanie Vargas series. It is always better to start at the beginning of a series, but I didn't feel I was at a disadvantage because I had not read the first two before I started this one.

The author makes Melanie Vargas into a real 3-dimensional character. Like many working women in a demanding job, she has issues: She worries about career advancement and job burn-out, is frustrated about lack of time to spend with her daughter, and is trying to get a handle on her love affair with the FBI agent with whom she's working the case.

In this book, she also has to worry about investigating the father of one of her friends and co-workers.

The pacing is intense; I didn't want to stop reading until I got to the end. And when I did get to the end, I wanted to read another of the author's books. I was glad I had picked up her second book at the same time so I could start it right after I finished this one.
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