St. Martin's, June 2004, 24.95, 320 pp.
Deputy Commissioner Stephen R. Carlyle, the liaison between the Corrections Department and the Parole Board, is a married man with two sons. He uses the services of a high priced call girl Genevieve. Pictures of them having sex are sent to his office and Carlyle knows blackmail will follow. Soon after he receives the pictures, Genevieve, according to a witness, deliberately is run over.
Evidence points to Carlyle who is brought in for questioning. The head of Corrections, Commissioner Miller wants Natalie to watch the questioning because he's afraid the department will be smeared if word gets out. He also wants Natalie to investigate to see if there is another viable suspect. Natalie, the superintendent of Horizon House,. a halfway house, doesn't like her boss Carlyle but she doesn't think he's a killer. She tries to find the madam of the call girl ring so she can apply for a job in her stable, but the woman proves elusive to locate. Soon Natalie concludes that the participants are very high placed in the political arena forcing her to wade through a lot of muck to get at the truth. The irony is she places herself at risk from a killer for a man she doesn't even like.
Many of Boston's power brokers and elected officials are guilty of some crime or use the services of a prostitute, making the heroine's job of finding a killer very difficult because all the suspects have more political clout than she does. Natalie also is pregnant and doesn't know who the father is which adds even more depth to her and this police procedural. Elise Title's exciting crime thriller places her in the big leagues with such dark urban gritty authors like James Patterson and John Connelly.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner