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The Finishing School    by Michele Martinez order for
Finishing School
by Michele Martinez
Order:  USA  Can
William Morrow, 2006 (2006)
Hardcover, CD, e-Book

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* * *   Reviewed by Mary Ann Smyth

Two of New York’s finest - teenagers - are found dead of heroin overdoses in a penthouse high above Park Avenue. Both were students of the prestigious, expensive, and exclusive Miss Holebrooke's school.

Federal Prosecutor Melanie Vargas, fresh from her exploits in Most Wanted, is handed the investigation in the middle of the night. She is wary from the get-go about the whole setup and doesn't believe the accidental OD verdict is the correct one. FBI agent Dan O'Reilly is also assigned to the case. Melanie's last encounter with him was not successful and his presence does nothing to make her job easier.

The plot of The Finishing School darts off in many different directions, but all with a definite destination in mind. The novel is thrilling, with action bursting out of the pages, and descriptions of the seamier side of New York high life that are anything but flattering. Laws are broken left and right, and respect for human life seems to be sadly lacking.

This is a well-written, hard-hitting book, with characters who sound very real, though one would hope not to meet up with them on a dark street. The Finishing School should also make readers look a little more closely at their own teenagers' lives.

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