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THE HARD WAY
CAROL LEA BENJAMIN
ISBN# 0-06-053903-8
September 26, 2006
Harper Collins
10 East 53rd Street, New York, NY 10022
Hardback
$23.95 U.S./$31.00 Canada
292 Pages
Mystery
Rating: 5 Cups

Eleanor Redstone's father, Gardner, was brutally slain when someone pushed him onto the subway tracks. She intends to find answers why.

Rachel Alexander has seen her share of crime while living in New York City. When she is approached by a woman to help find the murderer of her father, Rachel cannot say no. When Rachel is approached by Eleanor, a wealthy businesswoman, she had no idea that her search for answers into the man’s death would take her into parts of the city that no one but the cities poorest residents know about and live. She finds it hard to believe that any homeless person would commit such a brutal slaying. To find the real murderer she must camouflage herself in homeless clothes and take up residence in the streets.

Old man winter is arduous this time of the year, but Rachel will not give up hope in the case. Someone killed the retired businessman and she has to find who and why. When things begin to look bleak for Rachel, Eddie Perkins, a displaced Iraq War Veteran, lends her a helping hand. One that opens her eyes and heart to allow her to see how fortunate and lucky she has been in her life and one that will have Rachel changing many things once the case is solved.

The Hard Way depicts a harsh life for many that are forced to live on the streets, homeless and often eating out of garbage cans. Rachel explores the areas that many have forgotten, where winters can be extremely harsh for the homeless as well as no food to survive. Places where many in the world do not even know exist and those who do often turn the other way. I could practically feel Rachel’s trepidation while searching for the culprit and Eddie’s own grueling mess that he has been through. Ms. Benjamin uses skillful plotting along with a vivid knowledge of the New York area that makes the story so genuine. The forceful characters bring life into the story while creating a story that touches the heart. This reader found this an extraordinary read that deserves a 5-cup rating. Emotional, strong, captivating and characters that stay around long after the last page this is one compelling story that speaks in volumes.

Cherokee
Reviewer for Coffee Time Romance
Reviewer for Karen Find Out About New Books