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Live To Air
By Jeffrey L. Diamond
River Grove Books
Reviewed by Karl Wolff
When a drug deal between the Russian mob and a Mexican cartel goes bad in the Meatpacking District of New York City, a young Russian thug is left dying on the pavement. When police arrive at the scene, they also find the body of Cynthia Jameson, the nineteen-year-old daughter of New York's deputy mayor. Pavel Feodor, the young Russian thug, is indicted and sits rotting in a cell on Rikers Island. Years later, we follow the life of Ethan Benson, a famous TV producer, who normally doesn't cover tabloid criminal cases. Live To Air by Jeffrey L. Diamond follows Ethan as he tracks down leads and digs deeper into the Cynthia Jameson murder case. Between dealing with his ratings-obsessed boss, a prima donna anchor, a duplicitous police detective, and the Russian mob, Ethan realizes that things are not what they seem. Overall, Live To Air was an enjoyable read, although I don't read mysteries and thrillers. The challenge for mystery writers is finding the necessary hook. In this case, Jeffrey L. Diamond is a longtime producer for network television. The book has effusive blurbs from Barbara Walters and Al Roker. But what elevates this above a garden variety Law and Order episode? I can't really say. But if you need a light frothy read for the beach this summer, Live To Air fits the bill.
Out of 10: 7.5, or 9.0 if you're a mystery fan