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Dead Air
     

Dead Air

5.0 1
by Rochelle Krich
 

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Hailed as one of the "top ten women who write superior crime fiction" by the Los Angeles Times, award-winning author Rochelle Krich adds another superb novel of mystery, murder, and icy suspense to her outstanding collection. Dead Air stars Krich's popular LAPD Homicide Detective Jessie Drake in a case that begins with a surprise visit from an old

Overview

Hailed as one of the "top ten women who write superior crime fiction" by the Los Angeles Times, award-winning author Rochelle Krich adds another superb novel of mystery, murder, and icy suspense to her outstanding collection. Dead Air stars Krich's popular LAPD Homicide Detective Jessie Drake in a case that begins with a surprise visit from an old friend and quickly turns into a heart-wrenching, life and death drama that rocks the city.

Jessie is astonished when her closest high school confidant, who hasn't been in touch for almost two years, shows up at her door with an alarming tale of being harassed by an unseen stalker. Jessie's friend is now "Dr. Renee," a popular radio talk show therapist who doles out quick-fix no-nonsense advice to troubled callers on everything from lackluster marriages to steamy illicit affairs. Now Renee is desperately frightened and convinced Jessie can help her.

Skeptical, and with little to go on, Jessie agrees to investigate—-just as a favor. But Jessie's interest quickly turns professional when Renee's six-year-old daughter Molly is kidnapped—-and the child's nanny murdered. Renee and her estranged husband Barry, already in a fierce battle over custody, trade angry charges of blame and suspicion while Jessie tracks a bizarre series of events that began a few weeks earlier when a battered wife phoned Dr. Renee for help. Now the woman's crazed husband blames the radio therapist for handing out advice that has ruined his marriage. And—-on the air for all to hear—-he threatens revenge.

With a child as a pawn, a killer plays a chilling game where he holds all the cards—-and he's chosen Jessie to beLAPD's top player. As the hours tick by, he uses the radio talk show to up the ante, sending shocking waves of horror and disbelief through the city and terror into the hearts of loved ones. And under the hot glare of media scrutiny, Jessie works feverishly against the clock to beat him at his own game.Hailed as one of the "top ten women who write superior crime fiction" by the Los Angeles Times, award-winning author Rochelle Krich adds another superb novel of mystery, murder, and icy suspense to her outstanding collection. DEAD AIR stars Krich's popular LAPD Homicide Detective Jessie Drake in a case that begins with a surprise visit from an old friend and quickly turns into a heart-wrenching, life and death drama that rocks the city.

Jessie is astonished when her closest high school confidant, who hasn't been in touch for almost two years, shows up at her door with an alarming tale of being harassed by an unseen stalker. Jessie's friend is now "Dr. Renee," a popular radio talk show therapist who doles out quick-fix no-nonsense advice to troubled callers on everything from lackluster marriages to steamy illicit affairs. Now Renee is desperately frightened and convinced Jessie can help her.

Skeptical, and with little to go on, Jessie agrees to investigate—-just as a favor. But Jessie's interest quickly turns professional when Renee's six-year-old daughter Molly is kidnapped—-and the child's nanny murdered. Renee and her estranged husband Barry, already in a fierce battle over custody, trade angry charges of blame and suspicion while Jessie tracks a bizarre series of events that began a few weeks earlier when a battered wife phoned Dr. Renee for help. Now the woman's crazed husband blames the radio therapist for handing out advice that has ruined his marriage. And—-on the air for all to hear—-he threatens revenge.

With a child as a pawn, a killer plays a chilling game where he holds all the cards—-and he's chosen Jessie to be LAPD's top player. As the hours tick by, he uses the radio talk show to up the ante, sending shocking waves of horror and disbelief through the city and terror into the hearts of loved ones. And under the hot glare of media scrutiny, Jessie works feverishly against the clock to beat him at his own game. B

Author Biography:

Rochelle Krich is the award-winning author of eight highly praised novels of mystery and suspense including Blood Money and Fertile Ground. She is an Anthony Award winner and an Agatha Award nominee. Ms. Krich lives in Los Angeles with her husband and their children.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
The premise of Danvers's second novel (after Wilderness)-lovers united and reunited through the centuries-has potential, but unsympathetic characters and a sluggish narration fail to ignite proper suspense or romance. Raymond Lord, who lives on a restored Virginia plantation, is or perhaps isn't the 1990s reincarnation of both Anthony Richards, 18th-century seducer and murderer of Susanna Grier, and Frank Strickland, who in the 19th century drove Susanna's great granddaughter, Pearl, to suicide. Marion Mead, who narrates, is an aspiring writer just beginning a novel about Susanna. When Raymond offers to show her Pearl's journal, Marion goes off for a weekend on the plantation and finds herself falling for ``the most beautiful man I'd ever seen.'' Even her increasing uneasiness about the reclusive and moody Raymond doesn't stop the love-struck but absurdly nave woman from taking her two young stepdaughters along for another gothically romantic weekend (Could Marion be Susanna? Does Raymond intend to murder them all?). Fans of historical romance may find the interwoven adventures of Susanna, Pearl and Marion diverting, but those hoping for spine-chilling suspense won't find it here. (Sept.)
Library Journal
Psychologist Dr. Renee Altman hosts an L.A. radio advice show, but ratings are down, her marriage is crumbling, her finances are shot, and her husband wants custody of their daughter. When she finds evidence of a stalker as well, she contacts her once-good friend, series homicide detective Jessie Drake. The subsequent kidnapping and murder throw suspicion not only on the elusive stalker but on a disgruntled radio listener and the estranged husband. The subplots of Jessie's increasing acceptance of her Jewish heritage and her evolving relationship with her ex-husband provide added depth. An engaging read for all collections. Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.\

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780380807017
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
07/01/1901
Series:
Jessica Drake Series
Pages:
416
Product dimensions:
(w) x 6.75(h) x (d)

Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

I was sitting in the reading room of the Virginia Historical Society, where I worked, about halfway through rewinding a microfilm of the Virginia Gazette some patron had left in one of the readers. There was something wrong with the machine. It made a horrible whining sound when it got going too fast, so I was rewinding the film in wailing spurts, absentmindedly staring at the screen, watching the words blur and return to clarity as I stopped and started. I was reminded of the old movie cliché where a whirling newspaper comes flying toward the audience and fills up the screen with a significant headline. Nothing much exciting here though — tedious proclamations from the governor, two-century-old gossip, ads for slave auctions and land lotteries.

The machine screamed like a derailing train, and I let up on the switch. There, a little left of center, in a jumble of ads and announcements, the words clandestinely absconded seemed to jump out at me. This was more like it. Curious, I read the following letter:

Dumfries, Nov. 20,1769

Whereas my wife Susanna Grier clandestinely absconded from my house in Dumfries, on Monday the 30th of October last, carrying with her by water some of my most valuable effects and household furninture, viz. two Negro children, Rachel, a girl of 5 years old, Jess, a boy of 3, and a white boy, her son, of 14 years old of a sickly complexion, with one dozen of silver spoons, a silver ladle, and one dozen of silver teaspoons, marked RG, two trunks, two tables, alittle chest, some china ware, a gun, a watch, two beds, and kitchen furniture, too tedious to relate. I am informed she went for Norfolk, and it is supposed is gone off with one Anthony Richards, a convict, who came in two years ago, whom I set free, and entertained in my house as I had a good opinion of him, but he has turned out a fellow of consummate villainy and ingratitude. He is about 6 feet high, 30 years of age, long faced, pock pitted, large mouth, black hair tied behind, he has had good education, and talks fluently, is as genteel in person as insinuating in address. He carried off my horse with him, and several valuable books, went off about the same time she did, and was seen going down the country towards Norfolk.

Any person therefore who will apprehend them so I shall recover my effects, shall have TEN POUNDS reward, and I hereby forewarn all persons whatever not to give her credit on my account, as I will not pay any of her debts. I likewise forewarn all masters of vessels from carrying them out of this colony.

Robert Grier

I read it again, more slowly this time. I fancied I could hear Robert's voice, brittle with rage and humiliation. I fished some discarded Xeroxes out of the trash can and got one of the little pencils we keep by the card catalogue. Everyone was described but Susanna. I supposed, if I were Robert, I wouldn't want to describe a wife who'd run off with a convict. She was pretty no doubt. I wrote her name on the paper. I saw her as a tall woman, about thirty-five, with thick red hair. A widow, I wrote beside her name. I liked her. She was the center of the story, the one with a choice to make, the one who forced others to choose.

Her son; Grier said. Why not my son or our son? I gave him a name. William, I wrote, Susanna's son by Miles, S's 1st husband, dead 9 yrs. He'd wanted to go. He liked this convict. I saw him driving the wagon, the convict at his side. Jess and Rachel, part of the household furniture to Robert, sat beside Susanna in the back. He was asleep; she stared sadly at the road behind them. I wrote down their names, wondered whom they'd left behind. Nancy and Jesse, I wrote, adult slaves. I pictured them sitting in a dark, smoky kitchen, talking. They love one another, I wrote.

I read the letter over again. Why did Robert wait three weeks to write it? Even in 1769, they were long past being "apprehended," after that much time. It must've been a formality, a legal loose end, but his rage got the better of him when he came to the subject of one Anthony Richards. I saw Anthony most clearly of all, much handsomer than Robert made him sound and every bit as charming. I wrote down his name, with as much flourish as I could manage with a three-inch pencil, and wrote: sexy villain. I smiled to myself — there was nothing like a sexy villain to help a plot along.

I pushed the copy button on the microfilm machine and watched the copy slide slowly into the bin. It was manna from heaven.

"Thank you, Robert," I said, and hummed along with the machine's whine as I rewound the rest of the film. I had the seeds for a new novel.

The Historical Society was my "day job" — the one that paid the bills but didn't interfere too much with my work. My true vocation (or addiction, according to my deceased husband) was writing novels — at age forty-two, six I admitted to, five unpublished. The last one — Noah's Raven — had been out for about a year. My editor told me it was a promising beginning for a new writer. Since then, I'd been thrashing around for a new book with three false starts, each one worse than the one before. When I came across Robert Grier's letter, I knew my search was over.

I looked over my sheet of paper and added a younger son, James, for Robert and Susanna, a son she leaves behind, the image of his father, a small-minded fool...

Meet the Author

Rochelle Krich is the award-winning author of eight highly praised novels of mystery and suspense including Blood Money and Fertile Ground. She is an Anthony Award winner and an Agatha Award nominee. Ms. Krich lives in Los Angeles with her husband and their children.

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Dead Air 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
harstan More than 1 year ago
Dr. Renee Altman left her psychology practice to become the famous advice-giving talk show host Dr. Renee. Her career move led to her husband wanting a divorce, alimony, and child support because he demanded full custody of their six-year old daughter. As she struggles to cope with her former spouse¿s demands, Renee begins to feel that someone is stalking her. She receives strange anonymous gifts, letters with no return address, and phone calls without a speaker. Renee persuades her friend Los Angeles homicide detective Jessica Drake to conduct a discreet investigation.

A man calls the radio show begging Renee to tell his wife to come home and bring their son with her. When Renee refuses to assist, the person kidnaps Renee¿s daughter, insisting that the little girl will be returned when his family returns to him. The abductor taunts Renee on the air, which sets off media and talk show frenzies. Jessica and her partner learn who the perpetrator is, but have no idea where the child is. Both know that if they fail to find the girl quickly, tragedy is imminent.

Jessica Drake is a superb law enforcement official, but her personal life remains in shambles though she seeks contentment. She has mixed and confusing feelings about her ex-husband. She slowly is coming to terms with her Jewish heritage. Finally, Jessica struggles with an inner conflict involving her abusive mother and her ¿see no evil¿ father who ignored it. Because Jessica seems so real, the entertaining mystery appears even more genuine. An excellent story line is made even stronger by Rochelle Krich¿s talent for characterization.

Harriet Klausner