THE HARD WAY

Author(s): 

Benjamin's latest offers a bird's-eye view of the plight of New York's homeless and an intriguing murder mystery. Rachel Alexander is a compassionate, capable P.I. who investigates the murder of a wealthy businessman supposedly pushed onto a subway track by a homeless man.

Eleanor Redstone hires Rachel to find the person who pushed her father, Gardner, into an oncoming subway train. Police suspect a homeless man, so Rachel goes undercover as Eunice, a homeless woman, to find him. With the help of an Iraq war veteran who's living on the streets, she meets Florida, the suspect.

As Rachel interviews various witnesses to the crime, she comes to believe that Florida is innocent and discovers some upsetting truths about Gardner's enemies. The suspense heightens each time Rachel transforms herself into Eunice and takes along her pit bull, Dashiell, as she immerses herself in the disturbing and dangerous world of the homeless. (Morrow, Oct., 304 pp., $23.95)
Reviewed by: 
Sheri Melnick