If it bleeds, it leads, hang on to your hat
Rumors of the Cleveland Herald’s impending demise had become common, but the apparent suicide of Robert Davis, the copy editor, took everyone by surprise. But when forensic investigator Maggie Gardiner arrives, she finds evidence of murder. So begins Unpunished by Lisa Black (Kensington Books, 2017, $25), where Maggie learns the darkest stories sometimes happen behind the headlines. Maggie Gardiner is a skilled investigator, but she finds little solid evidence in Davis’ murder. The copy editor’s job invites anger, as he decides what stories to print and their placement in the paper. But who could be angry enough to kill? Her focus is compromised by Jack Renner, the lead detective on the case, who hides a dark compulsion only she knows. But he knows her secret, too. As they search for someone with motive to kill Davis, another body is found. Jerry Wilton was the Herald’s director of advertising, and his savage murder makes it clear that someone is targeting the Herald’s employees. Gardiner and Renner are forced to set their differences aside as they explore every possible lead. A deadline is swiftly approaching, and even their lives may be forfeited as the unknown killer nears his/her goal. Lisa Black’s thorough research into the newspaper industry brings a depth to this story, and her years of forensics experience in Cleveland and Southwest Florida provide her readers with an authenticity that few can match. Her books have been translated into six languages, one reaching New York Times Best Sellers List, and one has been optioned for film and a possible TV series. If you haven’t experienced the world of Lisa Black, then hang on to your hat, because it’s a thrilling ride!
Doug Gallogly lives in Fort Myers with his wife, Jackie.