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Dead Air (2010)

The first in the Samantha "Sammy" Greene series, Sammy is a young college co-ed at Ellsford, a very buttoned-up New England college. She hosts a radio call-in program on the school station, "The Hot Line." Sammy's no-holds barred program ruffles a few faculty feathers when she'sfollowing a story.

After finding the body of Dr. Burton Conrad, she decides she to dig deeper into his death after the police rule it a suicide when a student supposedly commits suicide and another is supposedly sent home with chicken pox but never arrives.

Sammy realizes the two students, seen by the same doctor at student health services, Dr. Palmer, were connected by very secretive research at an on-campus facility.

Sammy 's sleuth sense is buzzing. Something is going on at Ellsford, and the person behind it all will kill to keep their secret. Will Sammy uncover it before her next broadcast becomes her last?

  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Oceanview Pub (December 7, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1933515503
  • ASIN: B006J3ZSHM
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 6.4 x 1.4 inches


  • 1st Place, Royal Palm Literary Award, Florida Writers Association (2010)
  • 1st Place, USA Best Books (Thriller) (2010)
  • Silver Medal President's Award from the Florida Publisher's Association (2011)
  • IPPY Award from Independent Publishers (2010)
  • Semi-finalist, Mensa Sharp Writ Award (2010)


AudioBooks version narrated by Barbara Whitesides.

This likable mystery set in 1995, stars Sammy Greene, a "freckle-faced" communications major at a conservative college. She also hosts a daily talk show on the campus radio station, encouraging callers to discuss subjects that might be a bit outré for the mainstream. When she discovers that a professor has been murdered, she picks up the scent of real journalism and decides to investigate. But she doesn't count on exposing the dark side of the college in the process. The authors have created a series-worthy heroine who has plenty of room to grow. Fans of light mysteries with a hard edge will enjoy this one.
-David Pitt

Reviewed by Vicki Landes, author of "Europe for the Senses – A Photographic Journal":

Veteran writers Deborah Shlian and Linda Reid team up in their new fiction book released by Oceanview Publishing. A lively novel of secrets, lies, and betrayal, "Dead Air" captures the very essence of college life and mixes it with a plausible conspiracy. This one is sure to make the dean's list among avid thriller fans!

Protagonist Sammy Greene is a live wire as campus radio host and an aspiring journalist. However as she researches a run-of-the-mill story on one of her professors, she finds herself uncovering clue after disturbing clue pointing towards some unethical behavior by the college's very own faculty. As each piece begins to fall into place, Sammy realizes that completing this puzzle may have deadly consequences. Uncertain motives of those around her complicate the big picture and she's got to hurry before her plug is pulled…permanently.

Deborah Shlian and Linda Reid introduce a fantastic new character to the fiction world. Well-developed and truly believable, Sammy Greene's unique spunk and Yiddish quips give her personality extra depth and clarity. The novel's remaining characters provide just enough information to keep them hidden in a veil of mystery, leaving their true intentions to the reader's imagination until the book's end. "Dead Air" offers an exciting ride from the beginning to the very last page for thriller, mystery, suspense, and fiction fans alike. The only thing potentially negative thing about the story was the noticeable repetitiveness of a certain issue. Without giving away too much of the plot line, I found after this issue's third mention it was obvious where things were going. Whether or not this was intentional, I don't know but regardless, I thought its inclusion in the overall story was both socially responsible and informative. All in all, I'm definitely looking forward to Sammy Greene's next adventure.

"Dead Air" sizzles with tension as readers follow main character Sammy Greene throughout campus and its frightening underworld of unscrupulous practices. Between Sammy's relentless passion for all the facts and the plot's steady development, the heart-pounding pages of "Dead Air" barely give you enough time to catch your breath as you read!

"it's quite good & I enjoyed it lots. Sammy Greene is my kinda gal (kinda mouthy, actually) and I look forward to more in this series." Kaye Bailey, Meanderings and Muses

Co-ed Samantha "Sammy" Greene, host of Ellsford College's call-in radio show "The Hot Line" has created plenty of animosity on campus in her single-minded pursuit of a story. The show owes much of its popularity to the no topic is off-limits attitude which rubs conservative listeners, especially Reverend Taft the wrong way. When local police rule Dr. Burton Conrad's death a suicide, Sammy begins her own investigation. Shortly after Dr. Conrad's death, a student apparently commits suicide and another student disappears after being sent home sick with chicken pox. Encouraged and incited by Reverend Taft, members of the Youth Crusade set fire to the radio station, destroying it but not Sammy's determination to uncover the truth. Sammy's discovery of a link between the two students and Dr. Conrad's death will put her in the crosshairs of a killer who is willing to do whatever it takes to protect his secrets.

Coauthors Shlian and Reid have created a plausible, plucky amateur detective in this fast-paced medical murder mystery that may leave readers leery of going to the clinic. The characters are well developed with suitably driven antagonists and while the twists may be a bit much, are surprising enough to be fun. The only off note may be the overall setting, such a conservative college would be more believable if placed in the Midwest or south.

-Sandy Amazeen Dec 30, 2009

NPR REVIEW- by Linda Fazulo -Listen to PODCAST OF REVIEW
Dead Air by Deborah Shlian and Linda Reid
Oceanview Publishing, 332 Pages, $25.95 US

Last year I reviewed a novel titled Rabbit in the Moon by South Florida authors Deborah and Joel Shlian. An outstanding thriller, the book was awarded the 2008 Florida Book Award Gold Medal for Fiction and also named a National Best Books Award finalist.
Now Deborah Shlian is back, this time in collaboration with fellow physician and writer Linda Reid. The result is a fine medical thriller titled Dead Air.
In Dead Air, the reader is introduced to protagonist Sammy Green. Hailing from Brooklyn, the street smart Greene is a communications major at prestigious Ellsford College, a conservative New England school nestled in the Vermont hillside. She also hosts a call-in talk radio program which airs afternoons on W.E.L.L., the Ellsford College radio station. Tough and tenacious both off the air and on, Greene has a reputation for delving into controversial topics and expounding upon them on-air, much to the chagrin of both her station manager and college administration. More than once she's been cited by the Dean for making unsubstantiated charges against certain Ellsford faculty, staff and others. Consequently, she's thought to be a lose cannon by those in power at the school, and her theories are generally discounted. Students, on the other hand, love her show.
First and foremost a journalist, Greene also maintains a somewhat on again, off again relationship with fellow college student Reed Wyndham. Wyndham is working to complete his medical residency at Ellsford's teaching hospital. He also serves as a research assistant to Dr. Palmer, the school's world renowned AIDS researcher. Palmer's research is currently being funded by Japanese pharmaceuticals giant Nitshi Corporation. Nitshi has also endowed Ellsford with a mammoth new, state-of-the-art research facility.
When Greene learns a fellow classmate has committed suicide, it evokes troubled memories from her own past. When she stumbles upon the body of beloved genetics professor Barton Conrad also dead from an apparent suicide, she is further troubled and considers the deaths may be more than what they appear. The unexplained disappearances of several Ellsford undergraduates only serve to reinforce this. She shares her thoughts with the Campus Police Chief and is strongly advised to leave it alone.
Greene cannot. Instead she launches her own investigation, discovering along the way that something diabolical lurks behind the ivy covered walls of prestigious Ellsford College. The implications are global, with the potential to impact millions. In protecting the future, Sammy Greene must come to terms with the past. Should she fail, she might find herself signing off for the final time.
A well plotted, well written medical thriller, Dead Air was recently named as a 2009 Best Books Award Winner by USA Book News. For Shlian, that makes two award winning novels in as many years…an incredible achievement for a relative newcomer.

Seattle Mystery Blog



FRESH FICTION (type in Shlian for author or Dead Air title)







Rabbit in the Moon


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