Providence Morning Chronicle reporter Hallie Ahern (A Confidential Source, 2005, etc.) is once again witness to murder.
Hallie thinks she’s witnessed a terrible accident when Lizette Gorda, a Dominican bookkeeper working part-time for attorney Dane Piedmont, slams her car into a tree not once but twice. Uncertain how that could be, Hallie queries the other eyewitness, an old lady who changes her story after a few days and a visit from the widower and insists there was another driver who left the scene. Practically before Hallie can shout, “Stop the presses!,” she’s involved with a crime ring that stages accidents to bilk Medicare, Medicaid and insurance companies. Hallie’s 12-step sponsor thinks she’s after the story for the adrenaline rush; she needs to keep her sources from her boyfriend Matt in the Attorney General’s office or he can subpoena her; and her editor is preoccupied with the Chronicle’s new owners and isn’t much interested in Hallie’s hunches. Still, when Lizette’s sister connects the car scam to mobster Tito Manaforte and personal-injury lawyer Joe D’Anzana, Hallie goes into scoop mode, falling out with Matt, falling in with Dane (oh, no!) and setting up both another murder and a short ride down a lonely road for herself and one of the bad guys.
Brogan would do better to drop the romance folderol, but she’s in firm command when delineating addictive behavior and newsroom jockeying for front-page stories.