Death Duty

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Dutton, 1996 - Fiction - 309 pages
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Kate Verdi is working for the U.S. State Department as a death officer, assigned to deal with the deaths of Americans abroad. It's not the ideal job for an ambitious young woman who wants to ride the fast track in the Foreign Service, but it's a start. The paperwork ends suddenly when master diplomat Kendall Holmes steps into Kate's office and relieves her of two complicated cases - and promotes her into the Circle, a select group of the department's best and brightest. It seems too good to be true. It is. Despite her new job, Kate can't abandon her suspicions about two deaths she left behind: that of a female Foreign Service officer in a luxury hotel in Beijing, and another of a high-ranking State Department official on the meanest streets of Washington, D.C. Kate's questions lead to vague answers and bureaucratic runarounds, and she begins to suspect an elegant cover-up has taken place. Running through a labyrinth of lies, Kate realizes her own life is in danger, and she turns to the only one who will believe her - an unshockable and implacable black police detective who becomes her single ally. Their fight throws them against powers higher up than they could ever imagine and force Kate to take a no-win long-shot gamble...for her life.

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User Review  - Jane Doe - Kirkus

A State Department staffer eager to save her faltering post realizes almost too late that she's sold her soul to a cabal of careerist D.C. demons. As a junior death officer in State's Citizens ... Read full review

Death duty

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

Cross John Grisham with Robert Ludlum, and you have some sense of what Kimball (Night Cries, Dutton, 1995) unsuccessfully attempts to accomplish here. The consistently banal prose could be overlooked ... Read full review


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About the author (1996)

Kimball is a former teacher of English and a consultant on international development.

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