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    Review of FALL GUY by Carol Lea Benjamin


    William Morrow, September 2004

    Rachel Alexander barely knew Timothy O'Fallon and certainly has no idea why a man she briefly counseled after 9/11 would name her as executor of his will. But now O'Fallon is dead--another cop suicide by all appearances--and Rachel attempts to understand what could have happened, what it means, and why O'Fallon might ask a private investigator he hardly knew to take this job when he had the entire police department available to him.

    Rachel finally decides that O'Fallon wanted her to investigate something, but what? She starts with O'Fallon's roommate, a young man O'Fallon had offered a home to after catching him shoplifting. Parker is a piece of work--always chasing an angle, wanting something more from the world, but just how evil is he? For many readers, certainly including myself, Rachel's ongoing training of her pit bull, Dashiell, to be a cadaver dog adds interest to the story.

    Author Carol Lea Benjamin starts this story slowly. Rachel remains an enigma with no clear motivation other than a compulsive need to live up to O'Fallon's unclear desires for the first half of the book. But as evidence about O'Fallon's death mounts, and as Rachel learns more about Parker and O'Fallon's disfunctional family, I found myself pulled more and more into the story. Benjamin's writing is smooth and kept me involved even in the slow-going early section.

    Give the book a chance--the payoff is certainly worth it.

    Three Stars

    Reviewed 4/18/05

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