Scott's satisfying fourth installment of his Ben Abbott series (after 2003's Frostline) hinges on the murder of Billy Tiller, a greedy developer determined to ruin the smalltown charm of Newbury, Conn., with a string of tacky starter palaces. When he's found dead—run over by a bulldozer—the police arrest a young environmental activist, Jeff Kimball. Ira Levy, Kimball's lawyer, asks Abbott, realtor-cum-PI, to dig around. Abbott doesn't want to take the case—he despised everything Tiller stood for and worries that his loathing might hamper his investigation—but Levy twists his arm. Abbott determines pretty speedily that Kimball couldn't have committed the crime, but figuring out who did is a tad trickier. Though the reader never gets to know Abbott very well, this novel will resonate with those in the countless communities that are beset by real estate monstrosities. (Jan.)
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Ben Abbot, a somewhat disgraced native son of Newbury, Connecticut, makes his living as a real-estate salesman and a private detective. The greedy developers constructing huge mansions where open space used to be anger him to the point that he refuses to sell them. When Billy Tiller, the greediest of local developers, is found dead underneath his bulldozer with environmental activist Jeff Kimball sitting at the controls, the local police think they have an open-and-shut case. Kimball says he is innocent, but the prosecutor sees his gateway to a senate seat, and the defense attorney sees an opportunity to impress the New York movers and shakers. Ben lands the job of helping prove Jeff's innocence. The salesman-sleuth premise works surprisingly well in this appealing series, now in its fourth installment; readers who like their mystery plots closely tied to current events will find much to enjoy here. Barbara Bibel
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A likable "hero" aa well a a superb cast of caracters. Ben Abott isn't a "superman" but a normal human being which makes him so likable. Read morePublished 12 months ago by Norbert Thullen
Domestic mystery, murder, and terrorism meld in a new Ben Abbott mystery revolving around one Billy Tiller, who is crushed by a massive bulldozer in a seemingly straightforward... Read morePublished on April 11, 2007 by Midwest Book Review
He's done it again. "McMansion" is Scott's best mystery to date. The characters and the setting are quintessentially New England. Read morePublished on March 6, 2007 by Marian B. Wood