An American Killing
By Mary-Ann Tirone Smith
(Henry Holt and Co., Hardcover, 9780805057027, 368pp.)
Publication Date: September 1998
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A smart-mouthed, fast-paced tale of marriage, murder, and double-dealing in the best-selling tradition of Susan Isaacs, Olivia Goldsmith, and Diane Johnson. As such things are measured in Washington, Denise Burke has everything a woman of wit could want: two hip kids able to look after themselves; a marriage carefully constructed to allow maximum mutual leeway with a husband smack in the center of Clinton's inner circle; and a high-profile lover, the most eligible bachelor on Capitol Hill. Plus, she's a best-selling author of true-crime books. Not bad for a kid from the wrong side of the tracks whose mother never saw the wrong side of a bottle of booze. When her lover urges Denise to look into an old murder in his home district--and then just as urgently begs her to drop the whole thing--her stubborn streak kicks in. And when he dies in flagrante with a D.C. call girl, her bullshit detector goes on red alert: the good congressman didn't have to pay for sex. But it's when death strikes even closer to home that Denise becomes a woman with a big-time problem. Someone is serious about getting her to drop the old case. Serious enough to make her Numero Uno for the next hit. Combining the political savvy of Anonymous, the barbed wit of Sue Grafton, and the Lone Ranger instincts of Travis McGee, An American Killing is this year's big best-seller.
Mary-Ann Tirone Smith, who lives in Connecticut, is the author of four previous novels, including The Book of Phoebe ("You can't help liking Phoebe, the fabulously cheeky and charming heroine."--Los Angeles Times Book Review) and The Port of Missing Men ("Delightfully unexpected and offbeat . . . you never know what twists or turns it will take."--Fannie Flagg, The New York Times Book Review).