Titel: An American Killing
Verlag: Henry Holt and Co.
Zustand: Very Good
Zustand des Schutzumschlags: Dust Jacket Included
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A smart-mouthed, fast-paced tale of marriage, murder, and double-dealing in the best-selling tradition of Susan Isaacs, Olivia Goldsmith, and Diane Johnson. As such things are measured in Washington, Denise Burke has everything a woman of wit could want: two hip kids able to look after themselves; a marriage carefully constructed to allow maximum mutual leeway with a husband smack in the center of Clinton's inner circle; and a high-profile lover, the most eligible bachelor on Capitol Hill. Plus, she's a best-selling author of true-crime books. Not bad for a kid from the wrong side of the tracks whose mother never saw the wrong side of a bottle of booze. When her lover urges Denise to look into an old murder in his home district--and then just as urgently begs her to drop the whole thing--her stubborn streak kicks in. And when he dies in flagrante with a D.C. call girl, her bullshit detector goes on red alert: the good congressman didn't have to pay for sex. But it's when death strikes even closer to home that Denise becomes a woman with a big-time problem. Someone is serious about getting her to drop the old case. Serious enough to make her Numero Uno for the next hit. Combining the political savvy of Anonymous, the barbed wit of Sue Grafton, and the Lone Ranger instincts of Travis McGee, An American Killing is this year's big best-seller.
As a novice writer, Ann Rule worked beside serial killer Ted Bundy for months before his identity as a mass murderer was unmasked. Rule broke into the literary big time with The Stranger Beside Me, exposing the hidden side of the man she thought she knew. But Rule did more than whet a national appetite for true crime stories with her ground-breaking book. She also gave Mary-Ann Tirone Smith, the author of four critically acclaimed novels, a model for Denise Burke, the heroine of this unusually well-written story of sex, crime, and politics.
Burke is equally at ease in Washington, D.C., where her husband is Bill Clinton's adviser on domestic affairs and she and Hillary trade wardrobe tips on what to wear to Parent's Day at Sitwell Friends School (hint: You can't go wrong with a suit), and in New Caxton, Rhode Island, where Eddie Baines was tried and found guilty for a gruesome triple slaying he may not have committed. It's not the kind of crime Burke usually writes about--for one thing, it doesn't have a hero, and every good true crime book needs one. But Owen Hall, Burke's lover and New Claxton's congressman, has a personal interest in seeing the truth come out about the murders, so she starts investigating. The truth turns out to be much more horrifying than either Burke or the congressman expected, and it keeps readers turning the pages to see the effect it has on the town, its founding family and other inhabitants, and Burke's own life. What sets An American Killing apart from other books in the genre is Smith's talent for characterization--not only the major figures in the novel, but the minor ones, too, especially Poppy, the head of the FBI crime lab and Burke's best friend; Nick Burke, Burke's husband; Rosie Owzciak, the town librarian; and New Caxton itself, a dying town whose fortunes are tied to those of Owen Hall and his brother Charles. This is a smart, sexy, completely engrossing novel that should win its author the wide commercial acceptance that her previous novels, too, deserve. --Jane Adams
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