Television, politics, and the Russian mob: Live to Air is a riveting crime thriller, jam-packed with intrigue and unforgettable characters.
Ethan Benson is a charming and principled-if sometimes difficult-television producer in New York City who detests doing crime stories. But that’s of no significance to his high-powered boss at the network, and Benson finds himself assigned to investigating a bloody shoot-out in the Meatpacking District, whose old grime and new glitz provide a symbolic background for a sensational murder that has dominated the headlines.
As he pieces together his story, Benson literally covers New York-from Central Park and Fifth Avenue to Little Russia in Brooklyn and Rikers Island in Queens-crossing paths with a fascinating cast of characters on both sides of the law. Unknown to Benson, organized crime may be only one facet of the thrilling investigation. With his wife and son in hiding and his life in danger, Benson draws closer to a resolution that will have explosive results for the criminals-and for some members of New York City’s political elite as well.
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I loved a lot of this book. There is a lot to recommend it, but there were also some parts that I thought could have been better. Allow me to explain.
First of all, if you can keep up with the Russian names in this book, you will be doing okay. So many K names. You can do it–but don’t attempt to read whilst you are distracted by other things or they will most likely all blend together.
I liked Ethan as a main character. His struggles with alcohol and trying to impress his boss made him seem more realistic than if he had been perfect from the start. I enjoyed the relationship with his son and wife and felt it made him seem more authentic. Overall, he was a character that I would like to see return again and again.
The problems I have with this book begin with the large focus on the mob connection. I thought those parts were interesting and well written, but then they just seemed to go poof and disappear. I am not completely clear on how so much of the book was devoted to explaining those activities, but then they were not integral to the plot at the end. I almost felt like I was reading two different books.
The ending of the book became a bit unbelievable, but I was still fascinated with the intricacies of the plot enough that it kept me reading until the very last page.
I would have liked to have seen what happened to some of the characters after the shocking revelations at the end, but that didn’t happen. It is up to the reader to decide how they think things turned out for those characters.
There’s enough action here to keep those who love a quick paced story going and for those who like the psychological aspects that is there too. It was a good book with a few quirks, but one that I still feel good about recommending.
This review is based on a complimentary copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.