cover image Contents Under Pressure

Contents Under Pressure

Edna Buchanan, read by Erin Bennett. Dreamscape Media, $59.99 ISBN 978-1-62923-722-0

Pulitzer Prize-winner Buchanan%E2%80%99s first book about tough, resourceful, and beautiful crime reporter Britt Montero, published in 1992, has its dated aspects%E2%80%94the absence of cellphones, laptops, and other tools of the trade, not to mention the Internet%E2%80%99s influence on journalism. But few recent novels feature as knowledgeable and compelling a portrait of Miami, its environs, and its history. And the book%E2%80%99s major set piece, a description of a riot prompted by the acquittal of white and Cuban-American cops charged with beating a popular black ballplayer to death, is not only decidedly credible but also unnervingly relevant to today%E2%80%99s headlines. The novel is narrated by Montero, and it takes a while for reader Bennett%E2%80%99s performance to compensate for the fact that she sounds a bit young and refined for a seasoned 30-something crime reporter. Still, she eventually succeeds in becoming Britt and has no problem giving voice to other key characters, including the reporter%E2%80%99s equally job-obsessed photographer pal Lottie, a tough-talking friendly homicide cop named MacDonald and an even tougher, snarling, and very unfriendly Police Department major named Alvarez. A Hyperion hardcover. (June)