Constructed much like a police procedural, Suitable For Framing is the third outing for Britt Montero, ace crime reporter for the Miami Herald, oops, Miami News. As the book opens, Montero is pursuing the story of a trio of teenage car-jackers terrorizing the city by shooting drivers of late-model luxury cars gratuitously in the knee and dropping them by the side of the road. The cars then vanish.
That night it becomes more personal when Montero herself witnesses a car-jacking that goes wrong - resulting in the killing of a baby and the maiming of its mother. Persistent as a hound on the scent, Montero tracks down one of the carjackers and discovers he's a salvageable homeless kid with a crack-addicted mother. But under Florida law, all those present at a crime resulting in murder are guilty of murder.
Meanwhile Montero finds time to pause and help a rookie colleague - a would-be reporter stuck in the paper's library, go-getter Trish Tierney. With Montero's help Trish soon lands a general assignment job in the newsroom and quickly shows herself to be smart, grateful and a good cook to boot.
And crime doesn't stop just because Montero's hot on a trail. Body parts are found in a downtown demolition site, a child disappears, a sinkhole swallows traffic. And Montero misses a major story - the biggest political scandal in years - scooped by Trish.
Soon Trish is hogging more and more of Montero's limelight and the veteran reporter's suspicions sound like petty jealousy. As the story lines converge on a startling climax, Montero finds herself in danger of losing more than her job.
Buchanan keeps up a breakneck pace, as Montero exploits police sources, goes along on chases, tracks leads into Miami's seamiest neighborhoods and delivers plenty of steamy Miami atmosphere. A top-notch thriller.