Toward the end of yet another sweltering hot and tiring day on the busy streets of Los Angeles, bike messenger Jace Damon goes to deliver one last package for small-time lawyer Lenny Lowell, little realizing how his life is going to take a turn for worse. Before he knows it, a car tries to run him over and bullets start zipping at him. Using all his athletic road skills, Jace manages to escape…with the package. Lenny is found savagely murdered, and Jace becomes the prime suspect. Evading both police and killers, Jace frantically tries to clear his name even as danger draws ever nearer.
But unknown to himself, Jace is caught up in the web of something so big and sordid that there’s little chance of his ever escaping. LAPD officer Kev Parker, a loose cannon on the downhill slide of a once-promising career, smells a rat when cops from Robbery-Homicide division, who never handle low-profile cases, get interested in Lowell’s murder. At the same time, LA is rocked by a sensational celebrity murder case. Knowing well that it could mean the end of his career, but committed to find the truth, Parker begins investigating, skillfully wielding his charm to finesse the truth. Will he succeed, and before Jace becomes the next victim?
Tami Hoag upholds her reputation as one of the hottest writers in the suspense genre with this book, which not only has a highly complex mystery, multi-layered suspense and serpentine plot, but also great characterizations. In fact, the story derives much of its steam from the realistic characters depicted with great emotion depth and quality, as multifarious as the mystery itself. Jace and his brother Tyler are especially unique with their closeness and nomadic, below-the-radar lifestyle. Parker, a study in contradictions being alternately charming and tough, commands the readers’ interest as he multitasks dealing with untrustworthy trainee Ruiz, flouts authority and once again risks his career in a deadly course for justice. Hoag also perfectly captures the frenetic pace, glamorous, diverse and sleazy atmosphere of LA in all its glory. Overall, Hoag’s attention to details and characterizations makes Kill the Messenger an entertaining and expertly crafted novel not to be missed.