Sunday, July 19, 2009

Red, White and Dead-Laura Caldwell

Red, White and Dead
Laura Caldwell
Mira, Aug 2009, $7.99
ISBN: 9780778326663

In Chicago, since losing her job as an entertainment lawyer, Izzy McNeil works for private investigator John Mayburn. After her undercover work exposed Michael DeSanto as a crook (with the help of his wife), she is working on his associate Dez Romano, head of the family business. However, her identity as Suzanne is exposed when Michael sees her with Dez. They chase after her into a garage when a man calls out to “Boo” enabling her to escape.

Mayburn, who loves Michael’s wife, tells Izzy to leave town. She decides to head to Rome to talk to her paternal Aunt Elena because only her mom and her late dad called her “Boo”. Mayburn agrees to conduct research in the States. In Italy, Izzy is joined by her best friend Maggie and two hunks as she learns of her family connection to the Camorra mob, but remains ignorant to how deep and that they are aware of her presence in Rome and Naples.

The third Izzy “Red” thriller (See RED HOT LIES and RED BLOOD MURDER) takes a family spins on both sides of the Atlantic. The story line is fast-paced as the Italian mobsters try to scare the heroine back to Chicago so the American side of the family can quietly silence her; a killing of a red headed Yank in Italy would be international headline news as opposed to just local in the Windy City. Although lacking the humor and anti-noir feel of the previous two story lines, RED, WHITE AND DEAD is an enjoyable mystery with a few terrific twists as fans and Izzy try to figure out what is going on.

Harriet Klausner