Scribner, May 2001, 24.00, 272 pp.
Miranda "Munch" Mancini had a difficult adolescence and moved out at the earliest available moment. Munch used alcohol, drugs, and sex to forget some of her pain. However, an inner strength allowed Munch to clean up her act, but she has never forgotten her roots, helping others in similar crisis.
Munch has an adopted seven-year-old child whom she adores. She works as a mechanic and moonlights as a limousine driver. On her current driving job, Munch sees the chairwoman arguing with an unknown male. Several days
later, the woman is found murdered. The police believe a serial rapist killed the victim. By coincidence, Munch learns of another victim, who survived the rape. Munch tries to help her friend cope even as the rapist
threatens to kill Asia. An irate Munch vows to bring this maniac down even if it knowingly places her in danger.
Of the four Mancini novels, UNFINSHED BUSINESS is the most memorable as the heroine becomes a complete character with flaws as opposed to a bad girl makes good stereotype. The story line contains a lot of surprises that keeps the reader's attention. Munch's best trait is her maturity that allows her to know she does not have all the answers but that is okay because nobody does. Barbara Seranella is a gifted writer who makes her characters seems real and fun to observe in action.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner