HARDWARE by Linda Barnes


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 Who's got it in for Boston's Green & White Cab Company? Redheaded amazon cabbie/shamus Carlotta Carlyle isn't eager to investigate the rash of beatings that concerns Small Taxi Association head Lee Cochran, but she does wonder why, after their initial conversation under the microphones somebody's just installed in the G&W offices, he never calls her back. In the meantime, Carlotta responds to a late-night call from Gloria, her friend and boss at G&W, to find Gloria's ex-boxer, ex-convict brother Marvin; he turns up bushwhacked in his cab in Franklin Park, and Carlotta agrees to cover for him (ex-cons aren't allowed to drive taxis) by taking his place in the cab and lying to her old pal Lt. Mooney about what happened. By the time another late-night attack on G&W's office leaves Marvin dead, Gloria in the hospital, and Gloria's Mafia-bred partner, Sam Gianelli (who just happens to be Carlotta's sometime lover), near death, Carlotta no longer buys Lee's story that rival fleet owner Phil Yancey is trying to scare G&W into turning over some of its prize medallions. But she also doesn't buy Mooney's theory that Sam's family business has put him in the middle of a shooting war. Armed with her new hardware--a Smith and Wesson .40 Mooney insisted she buy for self-defense and a computer she's rapidly turning into an offensive weapon--Carlotta prowls the mean streets and the information superhighway looking for answers. Not as richly satisfying as some of Carlotta's earlier cases (Snapshot, 1993, etc.), but still a guaranteed one-two punch for fans, and a solid introduction to this fine series for newcomers. (Author tour)

Pub Date: Feb. 10th, 1995
ISBN: 0-385-30613-X
Page count: 320pp
Publisher: Delacorte
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15th, 1994


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