Atria, Jan 2004, 25.00
Lawyer Hilary Kane comes home early from a business trip only to find her boyfriend in bed with another woman. Instead of clubbing him with Big Bertha, Hilary chucks him for the Ritz Carlton where she drinks at the bar when Boston Mayor Daniel Harkins arrives. Hilary and Daniel end up in his room for the night.
As she goes to sneak out of their room while he is asleep, she cannot resist peaking into his computer files where she finds a link to his allegedly estranged son Toby the mobster, who the Mayor has sworn he has not had contact with in a decade. Also in those files is a link between Toby terrible and the thirteen years ago robbery of eleven paintings worth thirty million dollars from the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. Not long afterward someone kills Hilary. Boston Record reporter Jack Flynn vows to uncover the truth.
DEAD LINE is an exciting investigative tale that never slows down from the moment that Hilary uncovers the mayor's secrets (aside: the painting theft is a real incident that obviously adds realism) until the final confrontation. However, though the plot is exhilarating Jack's obsession to solve this due to remorse seems weird because his despondency does not seem linked to the victim. Instead his regrets tie back to his pregnant girlfriend reporter Elizabeth Riggs ending their New England Turnpike relationship. Still fans of the series (see THE NOMINEE) will appreciate Jack's Beantown romp, but newcomers will wonder why he races this marathon.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner