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Live to Air

  

Synopsis

Live to Air is a fast-paced tale of murder and intrigue, deception and violence, hope and despair. Its hero, Ethan Benson, is a savvy, award-winning producer with a keen nose for news who works for The Weekly Reporter, the top-rated newsmagazine on television. Assigned to what appears to be a straight forward story about the high profile murder of an innocent young socialite, Ethan embarks on a journey to uncover the truth, surrounded by a cast of memorable characters straight out of the world of television news.

The novel begins on a sleazy side street in New York's infamous Meatpacking District, where a gang of killers tries to pull off a heroin deal in a secluded parking lot in the back of a rundown warehouse. As the scene unfolds, a hotheaded young hoodlum named Pavel Feodor loses his cool and opens fire. In the chaos that follows, our innocent young socialite, out on the town with friends, is apparently gunned down in a hail of bullets. Feodor, who's also shot during the melee, is left in a pool of blood and subsequently targeted as the killer by the police, the prosecutor, and a powerful government official who's hiding a dark secret that threatens to destroy his political future.

Fast forward a year and a half, and as Pavel is awaiting sentencing, our hero is introduced. A forty-year-old grizzled journalist with a penchant for Scotch, Ethan is instructed by management to produce a network special about the now infamous killer. At a contentious pitch meeting, he's briefed on the status of his story, given an impossible deadline, and paired with the mercurial anchorman of the broadcast. Using their sometimes confrontational relationship as the foundation for the storytelling, Ethan puts together the rest of his production team and begins the process of producing his special—carefully reading the court docket, meeting with confidential sources, questioning the detectives, the public defender, the assistant district attorney, and Pavel Feodor, himself. Then when all the facts are nailed down, he takes his production team into the field and shoots his story, ultimately revealing the truth behind the murder in a startling confrontational interview at the end of the book.

Live to Air is a classic who done it, filled with twists and turns and built against the backdrop of television news. It's peppered with car chases, gun battles, and contract hit men, and unlike other murder mysteries, it's protagonist is a television news producer who uses the tools of his trade to seek out the truth as a crime-fighting sleuth.

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Live to Tape

  

Synopsis

Ethan Benson has no idea his life is about to change when he walks through the door of The Weekly Reporter where he's starting a new job as a senior producer, charged with managing the show's mercurial anchorman, Peter Sampson. As he settles in on his first day, he's summoned by the show's executive producer and assigned to a story about a rich and famous heart surgeon, Rufus Wellington, who's confessed to the murder of a young runaway he picked up on the gritty streets of south Boston's notorious combat zone. On the surface, the story appears to be a random sex crime—the case two years old, the investigation long wrapped and mothballed, the killer convicted and locked behind bars, refusing to talk about his victim or the murder. But as Ethan launches his production, exploring the facts and meeting the principal characters, he begins to unravel a sinister conspiracy by the law enforcement officials charged with investigating the crime and a pervasive cover-up by the killer's inner circle that's driven by money, greed, and fear.

With all the classic elements of a good murder mystery, Live to Tape is steeped in the nuances of television production. The story is structured around Ethan's skills as an award-winning producer, unfolding as he builds his team of researchers, associate producers, camera crews, lighting directors, and digital editors, and then taking the reader through the various steps of production as he searches for clues, travels to the murder site, meets with confidential sources, and discovers a host of dangerous villains as he searches for the truth. Running parallel to the crime story is the human story of our hero—the man, the husband, the father—with all his flaws and foibles. Poignant, sensitive, and heartbreaking, Ethan hides his fears and battles his inner demons in a bottle of Scotch.

A murder mystery in the classic sense of the genre, Live to Tape brings the reader into the world of television news with all its infighting and backstabbing, the author using his forty years of experience as a producer and a reporter to create a host of unforgettable characters and a hero who is driven by inner turmoil to unravel the story behind the story.

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Live to the Network

  

Synopsis

Spinning toward a devastating confrontation with Peter Sampson, the mercurial anchorman of The Weekly Reporter, Ethan Benson stumbles upon a story about the tabloid murders of three runaway girls that have dominated the headlines in New York City. At first, the assignment appears to be just another lurid crime story that Ethan has no interest in pursuing, but as he launches his investigation—digging up the police reports, securing the court records, meeting with confidential sources, and staking out some of the most crime infested neighborhoods in the city, he discovers that the murders are just the tip of the iceberg, that the dead girls represent the last chapter in the despicable world of human sex trafficking, where women are degraded in the most inhumane of ways.

Peppered with car chases, gun battles, and a sadistic hit man, Ethan takes the reader on a wild ride of payoffs, corruption, and deceit as he discovers a devious link between an assistant district attorney and the head of the Chinese Tong in lower Manhattan, whose clandestine alliance compromises a law enforcement task force investigating the crimes. A thriller in the classic sense of the term, Live to the Network—like all the other Ethan Benson murder mysteries—takes the reader into the mysterious world of television news with all the infighting and backstabbing endemic to the real world of broadcasting. An unforgettable character, our hero is an award-winning producer, a husband, a father, and a raging alcoholic whose marriage is falling apart as his drinking spirals out of control.

And as Ethan is driven by his inner demons to discover the truth, he relentlessly uses his skills as a reporter and works alongside his production team of researchers, associate producers, cameramen, editors, and a private detective to hunt down the bad guys and uncover the truth. The novel is a heart pounding murder mystery with anger and violence, surprise and suspense, and a cast of unforgettable characters set in a milieu rarely explored in other works of fiction.

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