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THE HARD WAY


By Carol Lea Benjamin

Avon Books, 2007 ($6.99)
ISBN-13: 978-0-06-053904-7

Reviewed by Cherie Jung

"It had started like any other case. There was always a death, always grieving, always the hope that, in the end, I'd be able to answer the questions I'd been asked. Who did this? Why did they do this?"

Rachel Alexander and her pit bull, Dashiell, go undercover on the wintery streets of New York to find the homeless man who pushed a wealthy business man from the subway platform into the path of an on-coming train, in front of dozens of witnesses. The dead man's daughter wants Rachel to take the case because the police have no real suspects and it appears, to the daughter, that left to their own pace, the crime will never be solved by the police.

I thoroughly enjoy this series. The author never disappoints. The secondary characters are unique but believable, the story has that "ripped from the headlines" feel, and there's never a false note with the dialogue. I've said this before, but will say it again, why hasn't someone snapped up the rights to these books and filmed them for a cable TV series?

This is the ninth book in the series. Don't be fooled by the presence of a dog. This is not a cozy series. It's gritty and will make you squirm a bit. The author continues to develop wonderful characters and vividly brings the streets of New York to life for the reader. Readers new to the series can begin with THE HARD WAY and read other books from the series later.

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