HARD BARGAIN by Barbara D’Amato


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 A domestic violence call that leaves an abusive husband, an off-duty Chicago police officer, shot dead by his wife's sister, a uniformed cop who responded to the call, turns even uglier when some telltale discrepancies (just how far from Ben Jurack was she standing when she shot him? exactly when did four-year-old Belinda come into the room to see her father getting killed? and how did Jurack get that bruise on his head?) make Officer Shelly Daniello's story look suspicious. But the story wouldn't have hooked investigative reporter Cat Marsala (Hard Christmas, 1995, etc.) if it hadn't been used to smear Cat's old friend-- Daniello's boss, chief of detectives Harold McCoo--a fact that raises even more urgent questions. Which of the four deputy police superintendents competing with McCoo for the chance to step into the despised superintendent's shoes after a mayoral election would've planted such a damaging story about one of his rivals? And which of McCoo's trusted office staff passed to the unscrupulous rival the in-house reports that turned up in the papers? Cat's way of gathering information is to interview each of the four candidates for a series of profiles in Chicago Today, but before she can get past their secretaries the case is blown wide open by a letter bomb. Cat's seventh features enough problems for a month of Mondays--but D'Amato's expert dovetailing and eye for human drama make it a lot more exciting.

Pub Date: Sept. 8th, 1997
ISBN: 0-684-83353-0
Page count: 288pp
Publisher: Scribner
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1st, 1997


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