Margaret Truman’s Capital Crimes series brings another thrilling mystery in Murder Inside the Beltway, published by Ballantine Books, copyright 2008.
When Washington D.C. resident Rosalie Curzon is brutally beaten and strangled, officers Matt Jackson and Walt Hatcher are called to the scene to do their initial detective work. They quickly figure out that she was a high priced call girl and when Mary Hall, a senior detective, comes to oversee the investigation they discover that Rosalie had video taped several of her liaisons with her clients. These detectives hope that the camera was running when she was brutally murdered and that a possible image of the killer could lead to a quick solving of the crime. Another aspect of these videos would be to identify some of her clients who may have an idea as to who might be motivated to commit such a violent act. Things get seriously intense when the three detectives are able to identify some of Rosalie’s clients and who they represent in political, as well as police, society.
The detectives begin to question these possible suspects and are met with a large amount of resistance. The first of the interviews is a congressman who at first denies having known her until they bring up the video tapes. He confesses to having relations with Rosalie but claims that it had been months since their last encounter and has no idea who might decide to end her life. The investigators begin to sense that they had only scratched the surface of this woman’s highly involved affairs, but have no leads and must continue with the interviews. They manage to track down an ex-boyfriend who had been engaged to be married to Rosalie. This of course brings him to the top of the list of suspects. He claims they broke it off years before and he had not seen her since.
The novel takes us to through some enticing subplots, the most notable of which is the fact that this murder occurred during an election year. Our focus is directed to the woman who may soon become the First Lady of the USA as her husband, Robert Colgate, is running for President and is highly favored to win. All the campaigning she has done and the long hours of giving speeches has worn her down, not to mention their marriage is on the rocks.
So after a fundraiser Deborah Colgate seeks out her closest friend and explains to her that she can’t continue to go on trying to become the First Lady with a man who’s love between them has gone astray and is no longer focused on the personal aspect of their intimacy together. Deborah tells her she wants to get a divorce and have nothing more to do with the Presidency and the obligations it demands of her. The only advice her friend can give her is to go home, pack a bag and get away for a few days; advice that can only lead to escalation amid such a charged environment.
A very intriguing novel and I advise that you bring your memory with you because how all of it ties in requires a large amount of recognition.
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