Margaret Truman, who knows where all the bodies are buried inside the Beltway, has written her most thrilling novel of suspense yet. Murder at the Opera features the popular crime-fighting couple Mac Smith and his wife, Annabel Reed-Smith, as they navigate the glitz, glamour, and grime that is Washington, D.C.
It ain’t over till the fat lady sings… but the show hasn’t even started yet when a diva is found dead. The soprano in question, a petite young Asian Canadian named Charise Lee, was scarcely a star at the Washington National Opera. But when the aspiring singer is stabbed in the heart backstage during rehearsals, she suddenly takes center stage.
Georgetown law professor Mac Smith thought he’d just be carrying a rapier in Tosca as a favor for his beloved Annabel, but now they’re both being pressured by the panicked theater board to unmask a killer. Providing accompaniment will be former homicide detective, current P.I., and eternal opera fan Raymond Pawkins.
Soon the Smiths find themselves dangerously improvising among an expanding cast of suspects with all sorts of scores to settle. What they uncover is an increasingly complex case reaching far beyond Washington to a dark world of informers and terror alerts in Iraq, and climaxing on a fateful night at the opera attended by none other than the President himself.
Historic Union Station means nothing to the elderly man speeding south on the last lap of what will turn out to be a one-way journey from Tel Aviv to D.C. – on a train that will soon land him at Gate A-8 and, moments later, at St. Peter's Gate. This weary traveler, whose terminal destination is probably hell, is Louis Russo, former mob hit man and government informer. Two men are at the station to meet him. One is Richard Marienthal, a young writer whose forthcoming book is based on Russo's life. The other is the man who'll kill him.
Russo has returned to help promote Marienthal's book, which, although no one has been allowed to read it, already has some people shaking in their Gucci boots. Those in power fear that the contents will expose not only organized crime's nefarious business but also a top-secret assignment abroad that Russo once masterminded for a very-high-profile Capitol Hill client. As news of Russo's murder rockets from the MPD to the FBI and the CIA, from Congress to the West Wing, the final chapter of the story begins its rapid-fire unfolding.
In addition to the bewildered Marienthal and his worried girlfriend, Murder at Union Station features an array of memorable characters: rock-ribbed right-wing Senator Karl Widmer; ruthless New York publisher Pamela Warren; boozy MPD Detective Bret Mullin; shoe-shine virtuoso Joe Jenks; dedicated presidential political adviser Chet Fletcher; and President Adam Parmele himself – not to mention freelance snoops, blow-dried climbers, and a killer or two. There's no place like the nation's capital, and as her myriad fans know, Margaret Truman always gets it right. Murder at Union Station is a luxury express, non stopdelight.