Lange's third mystery to feature gutsy anchor-reporter Maxi Poole (after 2004's Dead File ) smartly mixes crime and romantic suspense while the fast-moving plot sizzles with insider TV info. Maxi groans when her managing editor, Pete Capra, moves her to the graveyard shift, but she won't refuse an assignment because that would be "eating the death cookie," which could mean losing her job to rival reporter Christine Williams. Capra hires Tom McCartney, a news stringer, to watch over Maxi and take footage of MacArthur Park derelicts because he suspects one of them may be a serial murderer. Meanwhile, Maxi discovers breaking news in her own neighborhood—a kidnapping and murder at the home of L.A. city councilman Conrad Lightner. Armed with a Glock 19, kickboxing skills and the seductive Tom, Maxi is determined to find the child of Lightner's Hispanic housekeeper, discover who killed Lightner's wife and maybe even solve the serial killer case. Dizzy yet? Never missing a beat, Lange provides the reader with an action-packed resolution that will leave some shaking their heads and others grinning. Does Maxi always get her man? Not necessarily, but she always gets her story. Agent, Robin Rue. (May 17)
FYI: The author is a former news coanchor and reporter for KNBC-TV in Los Angeles.