Books and Books Coral Gables. August 12th, 2008. 8:00 p.m.In "Legally Dead", the most recent book by Edna Buchanan, US Marshal Michael Venturi of the Witness Protection Program relocates a mobster, now a government witness, to a small rural town after creating a new identity for him. The man proves to be a monster unleashed on an unsuspecting community. The results are tragic. To make amends Venturi leaves the Marshals Service and assembles a team of close confidants to secretly create new identities for innocent men and women whose lives have been ruined through no fault of their own – people who really deserve fresh starts in new lives. But before they are relocated and reborn, each must change a lifetime of habits and actually become someone else, with new traits, tastes, and personalities.
And before being declared "legally dead" – they have to die. The result is a combination of Extreme Makeover, Mission Impossible, and CSI — the last in reverse. In these "deaths," some of them spectacular, phony forensics must be created to fit the "facts" and fool the experts. His fascinating experiment works – for a time. But as Venturi continues to relocate the deserving, evil begins to stalk Venturi and his legally dead clients. Soon one is dead.
In a desperate race to protect those he has relocated, Venturi must call upon his former training in both the US Marines Force Recon and the Marshals Service, as he is hunted by police, prosecutors, ruthless killers, and his own former federal colleagues.
Edna Buchanan commanded the Miami Herald police beat for eighteen years, during which she reported the stories of 3,000 homicides and won scores of awards, including the Pulitzer Prize in 1986 and the 2001 George Polk Award for Career Achievement in Journalism. She attracted international acclaim for her classic true crime memoirs; The Corpse Had a Familiar Face, reissued by Pocket Books in 2004, and Never Let Them See You Cry. Her first novel of suspense, Nobody Lives Forever, was nominated for an Edgar Award.
In 1992, Buchanan introduced Britt Montero, a Cuban-American reporter, in Contents Under Pressure. Montero's adventures in crime continued through eight novels; the most recent was Love Kills, in 2007. Her first entry in the Cold Case Squad series was Cold Case Squad, published in 2004, followed by Shadows. In addition to seventeen books, Buchanan has written numerous short stories, articles, essays, and book reviews. She lives in Miami.
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