NAL, Aug 2003, 12.95, 342 pp.
At thirty-nine, Claire Maleck knows her life in DC is over as her affair with her boss, repulsive Senator Bob Mallory has ended. Knowing she needs to start over, Claire, accompanied by her teenage daughter, drives to Boston to stay with her mom until she can find employment. In Cape Cod, Claire asks the editor of the Covenant John Hillman for a job as a secretary. Instead, John hires her to write obituaries, which serves as an on the job internship in finding information and writing copy.
Soon Claire finds herself attracted to her boss' son reporter Lane Hillman, who reciprocates her feelings. However, he is closer in age to her daughter than to her and in the already heated summer of 1968 that relationship is taboo. As they work together inquiring into two murders, they fall in love, but neither realize the danger their investigative journalism will place them from a killer who wants to remain unidentified.
The who-done-it is fun to follow and filled with suspense, but also the mystery is quite obvious. However, the clever use of major historical items from a summer that burned makes for a tremendously entertaining tale especially for those boomers who can relate to Chicago, riots, and assassinations. Claire is a great prime player who enables the reader to feel that crazy world of fire thirty five years ago yet she also allows fans to see inside those who touch her, a rare reversal that shows how talented John Hough, Jr. is.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner