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Publisher's Summary

At the end of a long day battling street traffic, bike messenger Jace Damon has one last drop to make. But en route to delivering a package for one of L.A.'s sleaziest defense attorneys, he's nearly run down by a car, chased through back alleys, and shot at. Only the instincts acquired while growing up on the streets of L.A. allow him to escape with his life, and with the package someone wants badly enough to kill for.

Jace returns to Lenny Lowell's office only to find the cops there, the lawyer dead, and Jace himself considered the prime suspect in the savage murder. Suddenly he's on the run from both the cops and a killer, and the key to saving himself and his 10-year-old brother is the envelope he still has, which holds a message no one wants delivered: the truth.

In a city fueled by money, celebrity, and sensationalism, the murder of a bottom-feeding mouthpiece like Lenny Lowell won't make the headlines. So when detectives from the LAPD's elite robbery/homicide division show up, homicide detective Kev Parker wants to know why.

Robbery/Homicide has no reason to be looking at a dead small-time scumbag lawyer or chasing a bike messenger...unless there's something in it for them. Maybe Lenny Lowell had a connection to something big enough to be killed for. Parker begins a search for answers that will lead him to a killer, or the end of his career. Because if there's one lesson he's learned over the years, it's that in a town built on fantasy and fame, delivering the truth can be deadly.

©2004 Indelible Ink, Inc.; (P)2004 Random House, Inc. Random House Audio, a division of Random House, Inc.

Critic Reviews

"Hoag's success, evidenced once again in this engaging new thriller, is the triumph of substance over style. In a genre overrun with self-conscious jargon, brooding descriptions and fragments masquerading as sentences, her clean, measured prose - full, balanced sentences delivered at a steady pace - doesn't so much create an ominous mood as draw the reader into the worlds of her characters." (Publishers Weekly)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings


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  • Overall

An entertaining read

Before I begin, I must admit that I have an "audio crush" on Scott Brick. I just love his narrations!!! That being said, the plot has its twists and turns, but when you, like I, may listen to as many as 3 audio books in a 10 day period, a lot of them mysteries, many times you can figure out where the author is going. If you like that, Tami leaves a bunch of clues along the way. (I personally like to groan with delight when the author has bamboozled me all the way thru, e.g Harlan Coben.)But the plot is intriguing, and her graphic descriptions of injuries will have you "aching" for the characters involved. I gave it four stars because aside from the narration, the story will not disappoint the reader. Although I did manage to figure out the basic outcome from Tami's clues, the details are always a surprise.

85 of 90 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Edward
  • Pittsburgh, PA, United States
  • 08-16-04

Difficult to

What do you get when you have an honest, well plotted story filled with people you like (and people you hate), an excellent writer and a superior narrator? You get an extraordinary audible book.

The production is crisp and Scott Brick is a pleasure to listen to. He does not intrude on the text of the book.

I hope you enjoy this book as much as I did.

16 of 17 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Entertaining Murder Mystery!

This murder mystery moves at a good clip, bouncing from one point of view to another: from the messenger on his bike trying to escape from the man who is trying to run him down in a car to the policeman, to the dispatcher, etc., etc. For me, the little boy, Tyler, is the surprise character with a very high IQ. As one reviewer said, the story is "a few miles from being exceptional" but it is a good entertaining suspense with excellent character development .... characters that you can care about and root for or to dislike. An intriguing plot with a good twist at the end. Well performed by Scott Brick.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall


A thrilling plot, excellent character development, and terrific narration make for a superb "read."

I've enjoyed the other Tami Hoag books available on Audible, but this was even better because it was unabridged (and read by Scott Brick who always does a wonderful job).

If you like fast-paced mysteries, you won't go wrong with this one.

12 of 13 people found this review helpful

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  • Performance
  • Story
  • Janice
  • Sugar Land, TX, United States
  • 10-18-11

Fast paced

Did the plot keep you on the edge of your seat? How?

Yes. Opened up with a fast paced bike chase and kept moving forward.

Any additional comments?

This was the best of the Tami Hoag books I have read. Great characters, fast paced, suspenseful story, and great reading by Scott Brick. Was just what I was looking for in this genre.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Great story with great characters.

I had read one of the author's previous books, "Ashes to Ashes," and hadn't liked it. I think this author has a tendency to be a whiner and her female characters tend to be victimized. This book was less that way, and I enjoyed it from start to finish. The story and characters are well drawn and the idea of an adolescent who is trying to care for his younger brother while being stalked by a killer energizes the story. If you hadn't liked this author before give her another chance, you'll be glad you did.

9 of 10 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • William
  • Ortonville, MI, USA
  • 08-10-04

This Messenger Delivered

Fine plot, good character development, excellent writing, and great narration all came together to produce a thoroughly enjoyable audio book. Enough description to paint a vivid background for the plot, but not so much as to lose the listener's attention.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • John
  • Lafayette, CA, USA
  • 06-05-05

Great Suspense Characters & Plot Must Have

Scott Brick is a mimic in the truest sense, instantaneously and simultaneously male and female young and old characters and it is as if 5 people are speaking at once creating a true conversational story the best part of this book is the tension between the bike messenger who is immediately caught up in a mysterious murder and pursued by everyone... the detective, wise, brash, not favored by the higher ups moves the case along his way despite a sexy brash sidekick and with the help of women in higher places. Ultimately the complexity widens then widens again and this metropolitan thriller has the ring of a true story happening in front of your eyes. I loved the characters, all of themn, great book for this fine author. Highly recommend.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Martha
  • EAST BRIDGEWATER, MA, United States
  • 08-05-04

Kill the Messenger

A fast paced, well written, thrilling story with pathos and charm.
Read by my favorite reader, Scott Brick. A must for the thrill seekers out there.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Entirely Unbelievable

The idea of a messenger boy on the run is unique and clever. But making him an orphan with a little brother is not. Of course, they manage to live under the radar in a modern day major city.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • Overall
  • G. Ryan
  • 09-17-07

A rollercoaster ...

A fantastic listen that I just couldn't switch off! The characters are so brilliantly drawn that I feel like they're someone I know. The suspense and action in this book are a real treat and I will definitely be reading more Ms Hoag. Highly recommended.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Mrs. REP
  • 01-29-07

Excellent thriller.

I really enjoyed listening to this book. Great characters and fast moving plot.