Thirty-one-year-old Natalie Price has a tough job. A superintendent in the Massachussetts prison system, she rules over inmates' lives just before they get released. She's had to fight hard to be taken seriously in this harsh world, a world that is mostly male--on both sides of the bars. But she believes in what she's doing, and she's good at it.
Now, however, she gets the biggest challenge of her six-year career when a good friend, a college professor who was teaching one of Natalie's charges, is brutally murdered. Natalie had gone out on a limb to give this inmate, a convicted rapist named Dean Walsh, this opportunity, and it looks like Dean certainly made the most of it: He's the prime suspect. But he's not the only one, and Natalie's job--maybe even her life--rides on the investigation.
Peppered with the gritty details of prison life, Title delivers a gripping, atmospheric story bursting with authenticity. All in all, Killing Time is an ambitious beginning to what promises to be an outstanding new crime fiction series.
Those who think women can't write tough prose should meet the star of this series debut, Natalie Price, superintendent of Horizon House, a prerelease facility for prison inmates in Boston, Mass. Title succeeds at "tough" read mean, ornery, brutal and brutalized with a dash of despair where many writers, including men, fail. The author, a former prison psychotherapist, knows what the system does to people, which is what this novel is really about. Nat's world falls apart when her good friend, Maggie Austin, is found dead, tied to her bed with her own pantyhose. The method instantly calls to mind a rape allegedly committed years before by Dean Thomas Walsh, a prisoner who was a student of Maggie's and of whose poetic talent she thought highly. Nat had recommended Walsh's release, believing his claim to be innocent of the crime. Nat is also inclined to believe he didn't murder Maggie, but things go from bad to worse for Walsh when he escapes from custody, and later, Alison Cole, the original rape victim whose testimony sent him to prison, is murdered. Aiding Nat in her personal investigation is Detective Leo Coscarelli, whose youthful good looks mask his mature abilities. Before long, their professional relationship takes an intimate turn. Though some may find the plot overly familiar, this is a work of fine intelligence and sensitivity that should appeal to readers of both sexes who like their mysteries raw. FYI:The author of the psychological thrillerRomeo and many other novels, Title spent six years working for the Massachusetts state prison system like her protagonist.