The year is 1991 and news reporter Addy McNeil is having a hard time of it. Not only is she battling prescription substance abuse and nightly panic attacks, she is dealing with the rippling aftereffects on her and her parents of her brother's recent death. Recently demoted at the newspaper, her bosses now want her to use her relationship from 14 years ago to gain personal access to a murder suspect.
Kit Korbanics, business partner of Francis Marquesson, is suspected of throwing Marquesson over a balcony of the Harbor Inn Hotel to his death. The fact that Addy dated him in college has given her a chance to resurrect her struggling journalism career by doing an in depth profile on Kit. But in reaching out to Kit to do her assigned piece, painful old memories and feelings surface. Against a backdrop of venture capitalism, bioengineering and the beginnings of the synthetic cocaine problem, Addy struggles to investigate Kit and once again practice journalistic objectivity.
Featuring a sympathetic main character, this novel slowly moves forward in cozy style and tantalizes the reader with clues and misdirection. Much like her second novel "A Confidential Source" which is a stronger book, Addy deals with the same issues of substance abuse, inability to sleep, and drawing the line between her life as a reporter and her personal life. While the heroines are differently named, readers will recognize the many commonalities between the two.
Well written, no doubt due to the author's wide experiences in journalism, this read provides a tantalizing glimpse into the harsh realities of the modern newspaper newsroom. At the same time, it provides a good mystery as well as giving the reader a reason to read bylines in the morning paper just a little differently.
Kevin R. Tipple © 2005