Readers will have a difficult time putting down Lis Wiehl’s first mystery featuring a talented but fragile news reporter up against a horrific plot.
Erica Sparks is a news reporter who just landed her dream job with Global News Network. She leaves her eight year old daughter Jenny with her ex husband and is determined to succeed at her new, high pressure job. Recruited from a small New Hampshire station, she’s an attractive blonde but not overly polished, and has a certain connection with the viewer. Prior to her New Hampshire job, she was fired for on-air intoxication at a Boston station, but has been sober for almost two years.
Nylan Hastings, the owner of Global News, is a manipulative and dangerous man. “He loves his rage. It’s his best friend and has been since he was a little boy.” He’s looking for a star and all he sees is a parade of mediocrity. Global News is a new station bought by Hastings with his billions, profits from the sale of a video game he developed. He saw the audition tape of Erica and hired her as his new rising star.
On her first day on the job she snags an interview with the Duchess of Cambridge in Battery Park. While she is setting up for the duchess a Staten Island ferry crashes into the seawall and a man is crushed between the boat and the seawall. Others are injured. Erica’s camera is rolling and she scoops the other networks. Weeks later, another tragedy strikes and again Erica is on the scene with her cameras.
Is it just coincidence, or is Erica under a black cloud? The network make up artist warns her that Hastings likes to play games and pit employees against each other. When another reporter grabs her story, her producer and possible romantic interest tells her that it was done with Hastings approval.
The Newsmakers is a thriller set in the world of television news. It’s fast paced and hard-edged. It doesn’t cross into the romantic suspense genre, but readers who have enjoyed Hank Philippi Ryan’s books will want to put this author on their “to read” lists.
The author is a Fox News Channel legal analyst. She is the author of the Triple Threat series, the East Salem trilogy, and the Mia Quinn mysteries.
Reviewed by Susan Belsky, November 2016.