MARGIN OF ERROR
By Edna Buchanan

ISBN 0-7868-8931-4
Hyperion, 1997

Reviewed by S. E. Warwick

Roller coaster devotees will love Edna Buchanan’s Margin of Error. In true journalistic style, Buchanan, through her heroine/protagonist Miami newspaper reporter, Britt Montero, covers the who, what, when, where and why of several intriguing situations at once.

Fans of Britt know that she’s brave but wonder if she’s lost her mind when she hops into bed with a stud muffin movie star she’s baby-sitting for the powers that be at her newspaper and practices what seems to be very unsafe sex.

Threads of the previous Montero adventure wind through this one as Britt, trying to forget shooting a serial killer during hurricane Andrew, deals with post traumatic stress syndrome with casual, though very steamy, erotic episodes.

As she tries on the movie star lifestyle, though, Britt’s commonsense keeps whispering from the deep recesses of her subconscious and she manages to keep her perspective and independence.

The portrait that Buchanan paints above all is that of her first love, Miami. In a place where the cultures of North and Latin America collide always with a bang and never a whimper, Buchanan shows her reader a world that is scary yet beautiful, sophisticated yet naďve, but never boring.

After a look at stalking, mother-daughter relationships, foot fetishism, dysfunctional families, the film industry and the workings of a contemporary big city daily the ride comes to an end. As you try to recall where you’ve been, you remember a ride that kept your heart in your mouth. You’re not quite sure where you’ve been, or why, but you’re ready to line up to take the ride again!


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