By Laura Lippman

Till her paper, the Baltimore celebrity, crashed and burned, Tess Monaghan used to be a rattling strong reporter who knew her native land in detail -- from ancient fortress McHenry to the crumbling tasks of Cherry Hill. Now gainfully unemployed at twenty-nine, she's prepared to take any freelance task to pay the lease -- together with a bit unorthodox snooping for her rowing blood brother, Darryl "Rock" Paxton. In a urban the place an individual is murdered virtually daily, lawyer Michael Abramowitz's loss of life could be simply one other statistic. however the slain lawyer's notoriety -- and his noontime trysts with Rock's fiancee -- make the case entrance web page news...and issues to Rock because the most probably assassin. yet attempting to end up her friend's innocence couls end up expensive to Tess -- and upload her identify to that notorious ever-growing record.

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Other rowers skipped practice, overslept, made excuses about the weather. Rock, nationally ranked, and Tess, chronically underemployed, were faithful to the boat house and to each other. She studied her friend, who had been on vacation the past two weeks, rowing. He looked gray beneath his summer tan and the circles under his eyes had only deepened. “Didn’t you get any rest in New York? ” Rock shook his head. “All those crickets. And the more I worked out, the less I slept. ” It was only a half lie.

Thirty dollars an hour, what private detectives get. ” “I’m not a private detective,” she reminded him. “No, but you used to be a reporter. Didn’t you tell me something about following some city official? And you write reports for your uncle. ” He pretended to dictate. M. I saw Ava going into the Hemispheris Clinic at Hopkins. Did not come out for three hours. ” Jesus, she thought, he really can’t come up with a good story. It was more plausible that Ava was going to Hopkins’s sex change clinic and didn’t want to see Rock until she had her new equipment.

Watch my line, girlie,” a crabber called out, his voice thick in the humid morning air. “I see it,” she said, balancing an Alden Ocean Shell above her head as she threaded her way down the dock and the crabbers’ gauntlet of string, chicken necks, and bushel baskets. The crabbers, Cherry Hill residents supplementing their government checks with the Patapsco’s bounty, were having a good morning, even if much of their catch was illegal—preg-nant females, crabs less than five inches across. Tess wouldn’t tell.

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