Berkley, DEC 2003, 23.95, 336 pp.
He works as a stringer for the New York Times covering the New England area while his lover Roxanne works as a field agent for social services. One day a priest informs her that a five-year old child told him (in her own way) that she was being abused. The parents are David and Maddie Connelly, a wealthy and prominent New England family, who don't have to work and have set up a foundation for worthy causes.
After interviewing the little girl and her parents, they discover that the abuser was an Irish au pair who they sent back to Ireland. Drawn into the Connelly's social whirl, they meet Angel Morelli, a beautiful young woman who wants a piece of the good life and makes sure everyone knows it. The next time Jack sees Angel, she is lying in a back road in Maine, a homicide victim. Jack is doing a story on this tragedy when two goons warn him off but Jack doesn't scare easily, a trait that could put him and Roxanne in danger.
REALLY DEAD is an excellent crime thriller starring a protagonist who has a knight in shining armor complex. He wants, needs, and desires to find the killer of a young woman snuffled out before she really had a chance to live. It's impossible not to like a hero like him. Gerry Boyle has set up his story with so many red herrings and a surplus of suspects that readers will be eager to read it in one sitting just to find out how all the pieces fit together.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner