All PI Tess Monaghan has to do is find some witnesses - that is, until the witnesses start dying . . .Tess Monaghan has finally made the move and hung out her sign as a private investigator for hire, complete with an office in Butchers Hill. Maybe it's not the greatest address in Baltimore, but you've got to start somewhere. Then in walks Luther Beale, the notorious vigilante who five years ago shot a boy for vandalising his car. Just out of prison, he wants to make reparations to the kids who witnessed his crime, so he ...
All PI Tess Monaghan has to do is find some witnesses - that is, until the witnesses start dying . . .Tess Monaghan has finally made the move and hung out her sign as a private investigator for hire, complete with an office in Butchers Hill. Maybe it's not the greatest address in Baltimore, but you've got to start somewhere. Then in walks Luther Beale, the notorious vigilante who five years ago shot a boy for vandalising his car. Just out of prison, he wants to make reparations to the kids who witnessed his crime, so he needs Tess to find them. But once she starts snooping, the witnesses start dying. Is the 'Butcher of Butchers Hill' at it again? Like it or not, Tess is embroiled in a case that encompasses the powers-that-be, a heartless system that has destroyed the lives of children, and a nasty trail of money and lies leading all the way back to Butchers Hill.
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After reading the first 3 of Laura Lippman?s series, I have to visit Baltimore. The author brings the city to life; it seems to be one of the characters. Lippman isn?t shy about showing the seamy side of Baltimore ? but a reader never doubts that she loves the place ? warts and all.
The plot seems rather simple; an elderly man, fed up with having his car vandalized yet again, goes out in the dark to warn the youngsters away from his damaged car. The 5 are foster children running loose and causing damage in the wee hours of the night. He shoots once into the air; the children continue to laugh and ridicule him. He becomes more angry, shoots again and one of the children falls dead.
Tess has opened a store-front (to house her business, Keys Investigations) on Butcher?s Hill. This part of Baltimore has seen better times, but it is something Tess can afford. Crow (her boyfriend from the previous 2 books) has moved on to Texas and her best friend Whitney, is working at the Beacon Light?s bureau in Tokyo.
The thing I like about this series is that Tess is learning her trade on-the-job and makes plenty of mistakes. Tess isn?t a glib know-it-all; she?s surrounded by relatives and friends that she can call on to help grease her way through the labyrinth of Baltimore politicians, government agencies, etc.
Tess is Everyman, or Everywoman. She?s just like her readers. After this book, I think I know Tess very well and I find her a likeable person who is serious about her work. There are actually 2 plot lines in this novel and the resolution to both is realistic and satisfying. A delightful book. 4.5 stars
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