cover image Contents Under Pressure: A Novel of Suspense

Contents Under Pressure: A Novel of Suspense

Edna Buchanan. Hyperion Books, $21.45 (277pp) ISBN 978-1-56282-932-2

The steaming, seething city of Miami is the compelling setting for a Pulitzer Prize-winning police reporter in Buchanan's ( The Corpse Had a Familiar Face ; Nobody Lives Forever ) series launch . Blonde, green-eyed and game, Cuban American Britt Montero is, at 31, a respected crime reporter for a Miami daily. Nevertheless, she is stonewalled in her investigation of the death of former pro football player D. Wayne Hudson, a beloved figure in the city's black community who died in a car crash while being chased by officers on the midnight shift--``a dumping ground for violent, trouble-prone cops.'' Pursuing the truth about Hudson's death, the dedicated Britt must contend with an editor interested only in soft news, with her fashion- and marriage-obsessed mother, and with the conflicts inherent in her romance with a homicide detective. After Britt breaks her story about excessive police violence, the ensuing trial and verdict lead to a breathtaking explosion of arson and sniper fire, from which Britt barely escapes with her life. A few cartoonish cast members don't diminish the impact of Buchanan's closely observed and affectionately portrayed stars, her extremely likable heroine and Miami at night. 75,000 first printing; $100,000 ad/promo; author tour; Literary Guild main selection. (Sept.)