Sally Harrington is an associate producer for DBS News and it’s a dream job—but the dead body she just found in the trunk of her rental car is her worst nightmare.
Apparently someone stuffed the stiff in while she was interviewing the aged capo of the Presario mob faction at the behest of her new boss, glamorous anchorwoman Alexandra Waring. Sally has no idea who the dead man is—and neither does the NYPD. They asked her a lot of stupid questions, then the FBI took over. And it looks like a mysterious sniper took a shot at her Manhattan office window and missed . . . but not by much. What gives? Well, Sally’s the star witness for the prosecution in the Presario-Arlenetta murder trial in Hollywood, and she’s not under a gag order. Alexandra plans to produce a series of hard-hitting TV documentaries about the case, which is why she hired Sally in the first place. And her former love, editor Spencer Hawes, has offered $500,000 for a tie-in book. Apparently, Spencer likes to take chances. He was beaten to a pulp and sent out to sea on a garbage barge the first time around (The Last Lover, 2000). But he’d do anything to get a Bennett, Fitzallen & Coe book on the bestseller lists, and this one looks like a sure thing. Mob goons, though, aren’t Sally’s only problem: the man who had her congressman father killed years ago may be involved as well—and he may be linked to a shadowy network of arms dealers. That’s another story she’ll have to investigate, and she doesn’t have much help besides Edith, an elderly DBS researcher who’s flummoxed by computers, and Jim Reinemann, an intern who’s developed an embarrassingly intense crush on her. Undaunted, Sally eventually figures it all out.
Solid story, occasionally overwhelmed by relentless, irrelevant detail. As always, Van Wormer resolves her complex plot with admirable skill, but the cast of thousands gets in the way.