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From Barnes & NobleThe Barnes & Noble Review
Great news for suspense fans: Tami Hoag's Kill the Messenger is a fast-paced tale, full of twists and turns and unexpected dangers. This time out, the acclaimed New York Times–bestselling author uses her home turf of Los Angeles as the dramatic backdrop for a riveting tale of a bicycle messenger who picks up a package that marks him for death.
One miserable night, when weather and traffic have made him late enough to be the only messenger his delivery service still has in the field, Jace Damon is sent out on one last job. The weather's lousy, the tip's likely to be the same, and it's been a really long, crappy day…but Jace never expected a routine delivery gig for his low-end lawyer client, Lenny Lowell, to lead to a deadly trap.
His first thought, after he manages to break free, is to return the package to Lenny's office. But that proves impossible. Lenny's been brutally murdered, and all the celebrity that eluded the sleazeball attorney in life has arrived in spades post-mortem. Jace is in a real bind: He's stuck with an envelope full of negatives someone is willing to kill for; he's on the run from a killer; and it won't be hard for cops or crooks to track him down through the messenger service he works for. To boot, his prints are all over the dead man's office.
Although it looks like Jace has elevated isolation and living off the books to an art form, he's not quite the loner misfit he seems. He lives the way he does to support his beloved, brainy brother -- ten-year-old Tyler -- and to protect him from falling into the hands of the faceless bureaucrats at social services. Fearful of losing Tyler, Jace knows he can't trust the cops not to make the easy arrest and put him away for a good long time.
Detective Kev Parker doesn't much care why someone put a scumbag like Lenny Lowell away, but since it happened on his beat, he figures it's his case to close. So why do the boys from the Robbery-Homicide Division want to claim the crime scene for themselves? This is not the sort of high-profile case those hotshots usually work...as Kev knows well, having until recently been one of that elite group. Kev may have been downgraded to babysitting detective trainees and to working cases nobody else wants, but his investigative instincts are still top-notch. Everyone else may like the bike messenger for this crime -- but not Kev, who has found too many fragments of evidence that just don't fit.
Still, like everyone else on both sides of the law, Kev is looking for the messenger. Meanwhile Jace is struggling to neutralize the danger or to find allies who won't betray him. Time is running out. Danger haunts every turn of Jace's wheels. And, despite all his efforts, it's spreading to everyone he touches -- to Madame Chen, the Chinese matriarch who has sheltered his little family; to Eta, the dispatcher who took him under her wing; and to the dead man's daughter, Abby, who Jace figures is the rightful heir to the package -- and to the troubles that go along with it.
Somehow Jace needs to find a way to put on the brakes and to protect himself and his brother, as he plots a route through a deadly maze of blackmail, murder, and betrayal. Sue Stone