cover image Suitable for Framing

Suitable for Framing

Edna Buchanan. Hyperion Books, $21.45 (243pp) ISBN 978-0-7868-6047-0

Introduced in Contents Under Pressure, likable Miami News crime reporter Britt Montero here confronts a mystery that cuts close to the bone: why she's suddenly losing her journalistic edge. Chance puts her on the spot to see a young woman killed and her toddler injured in the most horrible of a recent string of carjackings. Since then, however, the scoops have been gravitating toward young Trish Tierney, Britt's protege and the News's newest reporter. Britt doggedly works her contacts in the Miami Police, especially Det. Bill Rakestraw, who is investigating the juvenile ring apparently responsible for the car thefts. She befriends Howie, a wary theft-ring member who just might turn state's evidence in return for a chance to go straight. Then, after a series of betrayals and more deaths, Britt herself is jailed for murder. Buchanan considers how the journalistic eye affects what it observes in this story that simmers with annoyance--with Britt's as she eats Trish's dust, and Buchanan's as she unveils the price society pays for throwing a protective screen around criminals who are technically juveniles but not children. Though it offers atmosphere and entertainment, this tale has neither the polish nor the punch of the second series entry, Miami, It's Murder. Literary Guild and Doubleday Book Club featured alternate; simultaneous audio release from Brilliance. (Feb.)