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BOOK REVIEW: THE HARD WAY
BY CAROL LEA BENJAMIN

We hope you enjoy this book review by Cy Hilterman.

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Rachel Alexander and her dog, Dashiell are a team of private detectives. Yes, Dashiell is a very important part of Rachel’s work. Most of us that have dogs realize how much a part of our lives they are and we treat them like the “kids” they are to us. When businessman Garner Redstone is pushed off the platform into the front of a subway train and is killed, Rachel receives a call from Redstone’s daughter requesting that Rachel find out who did this terrible deed. It seems there were some homeless among those standing on the subway platform and could they have pushed Redstone? They were suspected and accused by many on the platform.

While seeing a bad fire among a group of people, some of who are homeless people that had lived in the burning building, Rachel wonders who could have set such a fire and put so many people out of a living area. Seeing all the homeless, she decided the best way to obtain information on this murder was to go underground and become a homeless person herself. Using “Eunice” as her homeless name and “Lookout” for Dashiell, she started touring the homeless areas near where the fire occurred. She was accepted by a few but rejected by most. Eunice didn’t have the look or moves of a homeless woman. She had to learn—and fast! Some of the homeless took her under their wing and trusted her.

Rachel was in and out of underground living while attempting to find the stories of those on the subway platform at the time of the push murder. With the wife’s knowledge, she took an undercover job in the exclusive store owned by the deceased and his wife. This store catered to only the high-class sector selling exclusively designed jackets, coats, purses, and ultra specialty dog coats! Rachel researched the files of all ex and present day employees trying to find someone that had any reason to kill Garner Redstone. Her research led her to several employees and others that had any reason to kill Redstone. Rachel made several trips to interview most of the people that could be suspected killers, including some of the homeless People.

Rachel had friends in the police department that got her information she was unable to find on her own. Dashiell was the talk and attention of all that met him, but he did not like some of them he met and made that known even though he wouldn’t hurt them.

The Hard Way is a very good suspenseful read and it has some humor to lighten things up along the way. Rachel learns how extremely hard the homeless have it in their day-to-day attempt to exist. She ends up helping some of them in different ways. It has many surprises along the way including the ending as it wraps up the murder. A good read.

REVIEWED BY CY HILTERMAN

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