THE HARD WAY by Carol Lea Benjamin

THE HARD WAY

KIRKUS REVIEW

Seven eyewitnesses skewer the truth.

When high-end leatherwear designer Gardner Redstone is pushed into the path of a subway train, seven witnesses agree that the homeless man standing behind him on the platform did the pushing. When the police can’t locate him, Redstone’s daughter Eleanor hires dog-trainer/p.i. Rachel Alexander to resolve the matter. Rachel goes undercover as Eunice the bag lady, complete with pee-scented sneakers, a trash-filled shopping cart and her recovery dog Dashiell at her side. Eddie, a disturbed Iraq vet, first gives her pointers on being homeless, then leads her to the supposed pusher, a man called Florida, who proclaims his innocence. Intensive interrogating of the witnesses suggests that fear, shock and guilt make their versions of the event suspect. After a brief stint at Redstone’s shop, Rachel learns that two employees have died within the past year. Were they connected to the boss’s demise? More parsing of the eyewitness testimony finally reveals all, just in time for Rachel to share a Christmas hug with Brody, her favorite cop.

Endless rehashing of the catastrophe on the subway platform alternates with icky philosophizing about looking beyond a person’s clothes to see his soul. No wonder Dashiell (Without a Word, 2005, etc.) wisely spends most of his time snoozing under tabletops.

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 2006
ISBN: 0-06-053903-8
Page count: 304pp
Publisher: Morrow/HarperCollins
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1st, 2006




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