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by Kelly Lange
Warner Books, July 2003
352 pages
ISBN: 0446612561

Buy in the UK | Buy in Canada

THE REPORTER is Kelly Lange's third book. Maxie Poole is an investigative reporter for a local T.V. station. She goes to the funeral of her ex-husband, Jack Nathanson, who was a famous or rather infamous film director/ movie star. Jack was murdered and the police arrest his first wife at the funeral. Maxie, who happens to be close friends with Jack's first wife, decides to investigate this murder; not only to clear Debra's name but also to clear her own. Jack had a large amount of debt, which Maxie was legally obligated to cover. She was also seen at the scene of the crime and had a lot to gain from his death. As she investigates, she quickly realizes that her ex-husband was more despicable then she imagined. Jack had numerous girlfriends/ mistresses, his costars did not like him and there is the possibility of child abuse. The list of possible murderers seems unlimited. Another murder victim is found and Maxie must solve this crime before she becomes the next victim.

Maxie Poole is a beautiful heroine determined to track down a brutal murderer. She is normally a very strong character but loses her independence when there is the opportunity to improve her social life. She seemed like a very calculating person who never did anything that did not improve her social or professional life. Maxie's spunk and individuality seemed sporadic rather than a constant mannerism. The only time Maxie seemed real and uncalculating was when her dog was threatened. The majority of the characters also had this one-dimensional feel. They were all eager to blame their problems on someone else rather than take responsibility for their actions. It was difficult to care what happened to Maxie or any of the other characters for that matter.

Lange does show some potential. For the most part, the plot was strong, with only minor weaknesses. Had her characters shown a spark of life, the book would have been quite enjoyable. Whether this is something that Lange will be able to overcome as a writer remains to be seen; yet, one can only hope she does.

Reviewed by Sarah Dudley, August 2003

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Contact: Yvonne Klein (ymk@reviewingtheevidence.com)

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