Meet Samantha “Sammy” Greene, a young college co-ed at conservative Ellsford College in New England. She’s the host “The Hot Line,” a call-in show on the school’s radio station, WELL. No topic is off limit for this show and Sammy has rubbed more than a few faculty and staff the wrong way when following a story. After finding the body of Dr. Burton Conrad, she decides she to dig deeper after the police conclude he committed suicide. Then one student supposedly commits suicide and another is supposedly sent home with chicken pox but never arrives. Sammy realizes the two students are connected by the fact that they were seen by the same doctor at student health services, Dr. Palmer and that he performs research at a very secretive on-campus facility. Complicating the investigation is the Youth Crusade led by Rev. Taft, who has been holding rallies and accusing the Ellsford Administration of promoting immorality and a mysterious fire which destroys the radio station. Sammy senses something sinister is going on in the halls at Ellsford but doesn’t realize the person behind it all will kill to protect his secret. Can Sammy uncover the secret before she before her next broadcast becomes her last?
“Dead Air” by authors Deborah Shlian and Linda Reid, is a fantastic novel that introduces Sammy Greene as the host of WELL’s “The Hot Line” and a dogged reporter. “Dead Air” grabbed my attention from the word “go” and I dreaded putting it down to sleep and go to work. It’s a fast moving novel but by no means tedious. The character development was excellent: the young, enthusiastic co-ed, the good looking boy friend, the reluctant radio station manager and the mysterious doctor. A definite plus about the book is that it’s not full of medical terms which only a med student would understand. There are enough of them to make a realistic novel but not so many that you get lost. I see excellent potential for future Sammy Greene novels and it is with great pleasure that I give this book 5 out 5 stars.