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by Alina Adams
Berkley, October 2006
240 pages
ISBN: 0425212661

Buy in the UK | Buy in Canada

Bex Levy attracts trouble like a magnet. She's a TV researcher covering ice skating and as well as dealing with an idiotic boss and mad colleagues, you can guarantee that she will also uncover murder before too long.

This time she's covering the US Nationals practice sessions in Southern California when a baby is found abandoned. Within hours the child's mother, Allison Adler, is also discovered hanging from a rope.

Allison was an ice-dancing champion who clearly had a complicated love life both her former boyfriend and her married coach claim to be the father. Then tests shows that Allison didn't commit suicide; instead she was strangled.

Alina Adams' series starring Bex is amusing, diverting, but totally formulaic. I understand that I might not be playing the cosy game here, but as in the other books Bex is around when the dirty deed is discovered, her pain-in-the-proverbial boss Gil insists she gets the story, she does the rounds of the suspects asking lots of questions which are always answered, then ta-da . . . she unmasks the killer!

DEATH DROP is no exception to the formula, but it's a very pleasant read. Adams presents us with some neat cameos among them the almost too good to be true 13-year-old skating newcomer and the Israeli sniper-turned-skater-turned-coach. My favourite is the feuding husband and wife commentary team with Bex sitting in the middle to stop bloodshed!

The book is a touch slow in places, and perhaps a bit too clever. Adams could cut out some of the smart-arsedness and move it along quicker, especially early on. And this is a series best read in order, as there are plenty of references back to previous books but not much in the way of recapping for those new on the scene.

The ending isn't quite as obvious as you think it's going to be and I enjoyed the twist very much. I quite understand why one of the characters was intent on covering up details about another's private life it made me snigger!

I'm not quite sure how much more mileage there is left in these rather predictable books. But while Adams can amuse and entertain, it probably doesn't matter too much.

Reviewed by Sharon Wheeler, October 2006

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Contact: Yvonne Klein (ymk@reviewingtheevidence.com)

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