Judgment Call

Suzy Wetlaufer, Author, Suzy Welch, Author William Morrow & Company $20 (431p) ISBN 978-0-688-10930-1
Ambition and personal need clash with the law and professional ethics in this engaging but uneven first novel about murder and the media in the killing fields of South Florida's cocaine trade. Beautiful, brash and bright, Sherry Estabrook has fled the country-club lifestyle of her New England heritage for the heat of Miami, where she reports on crime for the Miami Citizen. While researching a piece on drug use in the schools, she and her partner, Belinda, meet Manuel, a 16-year-old assassin for the Lopez crime family. Spurred by visions of a Pulitzer Prize, the young women set out to chronicle Manuel's handiwork--some 18 grisly murders so far. Soon Sherry is entangled in a complex, dangerous relationship with the troubled boy. For star reporters, Sherry and Belinda are incredibly naive, blind to perils that scream out at the reader and to important details of the story they're pursuing. Despite a tendency to over-explain characters' personalities and motivations, Wetlaufer's evocation of steamy Miami, her unusual villain and clever plotting create a gripping, often horrifying thriller. Literary Guild and Mystery Guild alternates; film rights to Disney. (July)
Reviewed on: 06/29/1992
Release date: 07/01/1992
Genre: Fiction
Mass Market Paperbound - 978-0-380-71699-9
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