Lenny Holcomb, an over-the-hill obituary writer, begins receiving messages while writing obituaries. While writing the obituary of a political fund-raiser for the governor of Pennsylvania, who is also an aspiring presidential candidate, Lenny's journalistic spirit is revitalized by a "message" to investigate fiscal misconduct in the governor's campaign funds.
When the young, beautiful press aide to the governor becomes an apparent suicide, Lenny (aided by clues in his obituary messages) digs deeper and uncovers a conspiracy to promote the governor's political political career--masterminded by an ambitious young political reporter from his own newspaper.
With the help of his own journalistic instincts, a dedicated County Coroner, and a sexy young female reporter, Lenny discovers and delivers the truthful story to the readers of his newspaper. But not before two more deaths and almost losing his life to the ambitious young villian.
This report prepared by Mike Hill
Pocket, Nov 2003, 6.99, 336 pp.
Sixty-one years old Harrisburg Herald obit columnist Lenny Bascomb thinks back to his last meaningful assignment reporting the Three Mile Island incident over two decades ago. Though he reflects on his glory days, he knows that now he is a shadow of what he was. While working on the obituary of a young girl, Lenny goes into a fugue trance. During this state, he types the hidden truth from the public person though he never met her or her family. The deceased killed herself because she could not cope with her sexual predator father. Though he hands in the glowing obit, Lenny gains revenge for the victim.
Everyone praises political powerhouse Herb Butcher for his behind the scenes, emperor making when he suddenly dies from a heart attack. However, Lenny goes into another trance. He soon realizes that the idol who got Governor Lowell elected and turned him into a possible contender for president, stole millions for personal use from the campaign funds of the Keystone State's chief executive. Lenny and reporter Jacqueline Towers start to expose Herb as an embezzler and begin to shred Lowell's ambitions too.
FATAL DEAD LINES is an offbeat paranormal investigative journalist political thriller that will remind readers of the Hopper film Witch Hunt. The story line grabs the audience as the tired Lenny suddenly regains his energy with his first satisfying efforts in over twenty years. Besides my bias of having lived in Harrisburg during the late March '79 near meltdown this reviewer found John Luciew's tale fun and gripping in a refreshing way. No obit for Lenny who deserves future truth finder tales.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner