Smooth and easy to read…
I had read and really enjoyed the previous book in this series, The Last Scoop, and so I was happy to also receive an advance review copy of Beyond the Headlines. And I wasn’t disappointed – the things I had enjoyed in the earlier book were all also present in this one. The Channel 10 newsroom feels as realistic as ever, based, presumably, on RG Belsky’s own experience as a journalist. The news anchors, Brett and Dani, are still fighting, even though they are married and expecting a baby now – or maybe because they are married and expecting a baby now! Clare’s nose for a story still gets her in trouble, especially when her boss wants her to act like the News Director that she is, and not run around chasing leads herself. And Clare’s family situation is still as unstable as ever, although with some brand-new wrinkles (both good and bad) thrown in.
In this book, the murder case is a nice twisty one, where the much older, rich husband of Laurie Bateman has been killed and she’s the main suspect. But as Clare digs deeper, she finds that the husband, Charles Hollister, had lots of enemies, and there are a lot of people who had both motive and opportunity. At the same time, Clare also gets an exclusive and explosive interview with Laurie, which changes the way the community, and the judge, look at her, and at the case. So it seems as if Laurie Bateman is home free. But things are going to change a couple more times before Clare finally figures out who really did it, and why.
One of the things I most liked about Beyond the Headlines is that it was so easy to read. Clare’s investigation proceeded on a path that was easy to follow, and I just kept reading, and reading, while barely noticing it. (At the risk of sounding like a parrot, the same was true of the previous book too.) And even though there were a couple of serious issues addressed – one societal, one medical – they fit so well into the narrative that they didn’t sidetrack the book, as sometimes happens when authors try to tackle difficult subjects.
Overall, Beyond the Headlines was just a well-written, enjoyable murder mystery. I liked it every bit as much as the previous one, and since I gave that one five-stars, I guess I have to give this one five-stars too – even though I don’t like giving too many five-star ratings. I was happy to find out in the Author’s Note that there will be a new title in the series coming in 2022. And my thanks to Oceanview Publishing for the review copy!