In her sixth spellbinding adventure, Carlotta Carlyle, the 6'1" redheaded P.I. from Boston, takes on a case that draws her into the mysterious shadova and of computer technology, where information is cheap, and privacy may be a thing of the past. Part-time cabbie Carlotta is entering the modern age of investigation. With the help of her sometime lover, mafioso, and computer-hobbyist Sam Gianelli, she invests in her first "hardware," a cheap personal computer. And at the urging of her ex-boss, Boston Police Lt. Mooney, who decries the stopping power of her .38 S&W, she decides to upgrade her arsenal. Both types of hardware come in handy when Carlotta is hired by Gloria, owner of G&W Cab, to investigate the brutal robberies that are causing her cabbies to quit in record numbers, and the violence and unanswered questions escalate. An explosion rocks G&W, killing Gloria's brother and seriously wounding co-owner Sam Gianelli. Is someone out to bankrupt G&W to acquire its invaluable cab medallions? Is the company a pawn in a Mafia vendetta, with Sam, the underboss's son, the target? And who put that tiny microphone near G&W's bathroom? Aided by a mysterious databank expert, Carlotta learns far more than she thought possible about "private" transactions. And she finds herself digging into Sam's past, exposing secrets he's kept hidden for years--secrets that begin to pull them further apart. As the investigation reaches its climax, Carlotta realizes, almost too late, that the mob may be just a fall guy in a very intimate crime.
When Boston-area cabbies are targeted in a series of attacks, the professional and personal lives of Carlotta Carlyle bloom with mystery in this lively yarn. The part-time PI and part-time cab driver last seen in Snapshot is hired by the Small Taxi Association to investigate the attacks. On the same day, she discovers four microphones hidden at Green & White, the company she drives for. Sam Gianelli, her ``on-again, off-again lover'' and Green & White's co-proprietor, wants the bugs left undisturbed-though he won't say why. Sam's friend Frank sells Carlotta a new computer; on the way home she and Sam are shot at. Violence edges closer to Green & White, leading to serious injury for Sam and his co-owner, Gloria. Unexpectedly, Frank the computer maven, whom even Roz, Carlotta's tenant with a lively taste for men and the bizarre, finds odd, resurfaces. Before Carlotta can sort out taxi industry troubles, the past intrudes on the present and she discovers some surprises about Sam. The puzzle works well, but mainly it's Carlotta and her interactions with the well-drawn folks around her that make Barnes's story hum. Simultaneous release from BDD audio; author tour; rights: Gina Maccoby Literary Agency. (Mar.)
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August 29, 2005
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