'Live to Tape' a thriller that will keep you up at night

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The story behind a television news anchor's report can be deep and complex. It involves many other people; those who are of course, part of the story, but there are the producers and those who provide logistical support.

Their background stories are always full of high drama, and often extreme doses of suspense. "Live To Tape," the second in Richmond resident Jeffrey L. Diamond's Ethan Benson Thriller series tells that dramatic story from Diamond's own firsthand knowledge as a former topflight television program producer.

"Live To Tape" begins with the promotion of Ethan Benson, a relentless and dedicated television news producer, to a new position as a senior producer at Global Broadcasting, the country's most powerful television network. He is not yet one day on the job when Paul Lang, the network's executive producer, pitches him a dicey murder story to investigate. In spite of the inhuman demands placed on him by the notoriously narcissistic and demeaning anchor, Paul Sampson, Ethan is drawn to the story with obsessive verve. Ethan's pursuit of this case takes us all the way to the edge in a story filled with suspense, intrigue and danger.

"Live To Tape" draws the reader into one of the most nefarious murder cases to be imagined and the steady breakdown of a web of evil characterized in the novel's villain, Dr. Rufus Wellington, a cutting edge heart surgeon, and to almost every one's surprise, a brutal murderer. We are at once spellbound by Ethan's dogged investigative prowess and deflated by him at every turn as he drinks far too heavily and struggles to maintain his family life. His personal struggles are poignant, yet his news team and family stay with him as they defend the higher good and never rest until the elusive truth that underlies Wellington's wide reach is illuminated. It is Wellington's wealth, power and brilliance that boggle justice, but it is Ethan's courage that brings him down.

At the start of the novel, Wellington is safely imprisoned at Cedar Junction Maximum Security Prison. Although he confessed to the murder of a young prostitute from Boston, and was literally caught red-handed burying her on his own property by the local police, he refuses to talk about the case. Two years after the fact he demands an exclusive interview with Ethan and anchor Peter Sampson. The build-up to the interview begins with fast and furious, and dangerous, investigative work, and the loaded question: why? What can Wellington's twisted plot be? Will he somehow beat the system? Diamond delivers it all with a riveting narrative and crisp dialogue that will keep you up at night reading.

Colin Harrington is the Events Manager at The Bookstore & Get Lit Wine Bar in Lenox, Mass. Colin welcomes reader comments at charrington686@gmail.com




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