SHORT CHANGE by Patricia Smiley


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A business consultant goes the extra mile when her client lands in the middle of a murder investigation.

Since leaving the corporate rat race at Aames & Associates, Tucker Sinclair (Cover Your Assets, 2005, etc.) hasn’t exactly been idle. Helping retired LAPD detective Charley Tate jazz up his p.i. firm’s image is a job and three-quarters. It includes refereeing daily bouts between Charley and his trophy wife Lorna, who wants him to trade in his gumshoes for a choir robe and a job with her televangelist brother. But that’s just the prelim. Eventually, Charley gets sidelined by a suspicious accident, and Tucker takes over the search for his client Eve Lawson, who disappears from her Marina Del Rey bungalow shortly before her boyfriend Rocky Kincaid turns up dead in a motel room. Interviewing Eve’s icy stepmother Meredith and toxic stepbrother Kip Moreland at their palatial estate is bad enough. A drive through the desert to Ladera Bonita, where Eve’s family’s Wildwood Properties plans to enhance the rugged landscape with pricey tract houses, is worse. But worst of all, Tracy Fields, L.A. cop Joe Deegan’s vindictive ex, finds out that Joe has been up close and personal with Tucker, who’s involved in the Kincaid investigation. Suddenly, it looks as if Tucker’s about to be shortchanged both professionally and romantically.

Smiley’s third lives up to the promise of her first two, with tough-girl Tucker going tender at all the right moments.

Pub Date: July 3rd, 2007
ISBN: 978-0-451-22144-5
Page count: 304pp
Publisher: NAL/Berkley
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15th, 2007


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