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BOOK REVIEW: DIRT
BY STUART WOODS
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Gossip sells if about famous people who have or have not committed the “gossiped”. And it hurts if it is about innocent people who have not actually committed the “gossiped” item. Dirt does in fact both sell and hurt as it tells a story of a famous gossip columnist and how all that she has built is torn apart.
The truth of the matter is that she is in fact a part of the problem. Amanda Dart is the famous one and she becomes the main subject of a private gossip column that is circulated first among her friends and associates. All of those who receive the faxes are in one way or another involved in the world of tabloid journalism. They all live in fear that at some point the originator of this private web of dirty spewings will make public his writings.
Amanda decides that she must find out who is writing the gossip but also she must find out who among her peers is telling all of the gossip to the writer. She contacts Stone Barrington, a lawyer/private investigator who became famous as a police detective who solved several mysteries that were splashed all over the news.
The further that Barrington digs into the problem the more it grows. And the faster it grows. His actions begin to show up on the fax messages within hours of what ever he does. He is certain that there is a leak within Amanda’s closest circle.
She vehemently denies that possibility.
However soon burglaries and even violent attacks also begin happening. Barrington brings in one of his closest friends from his days on the force for additional help. They quickly determine that not only are there burglaries but the burglar has planted bugs so that he can hear all that happens in the apartment or home that he has hit. And the crimes are taking place within Amanda’s circle of friends and coworkers.
Barrington along the way gets involved sexually with Amanda, and two other lesser characters. The book begins with a sexual encounter and others pop up here and there throughout the story. Their presence does nothing for the storyline but perhaps adds a few more readers who enjoy that type of writing.
Finally and actually a little too late Barrington figures out who and why the faxes and other episodes are occurring. The story ends with a somewhat satisfactory ending although it is only alluded to as Barrington and his girlfriend ride away in a taxi.
REVIEWED BY ALLEN HOTT
DO NOT REPRINT
WITHOUT PERMISSION OF THE REVIEWER, ALLEN HOTT
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