An investigative journalist goes back to her roots….
I have read and enjoyed a few other books by RL Belsky, so I was happy to be offered a review copy of The Last Scoop, which is the most recent in his newest Clare Carlson series. (The most recent at least until May, when the next title, Beyond the Headlines, comes out…) And I enjoyed this one a lot too.
Belsky is himself a journalist, and this shows in the realistic feel of Clare’s newsroom, with squabbling anchors, outside consultants that no one really wants to listen to, and of course, reporters covering all sorts of stories. Clare is herself a former newspaper reporter, now a news director at a TV station, but in The Last Scoop, she reaches back to her roots to personally investigate a case (or is it more than one case?) that she “inherits” when her earliest, first mentor is killed. No one is really thrilled by this – not her boss, who wants her to oversee the news operation rather than running off investigating on her own; not the family of her former mentor, who may be involved; and definitely not her former lover, now working for the FBI, whom she approaches when she figures out she has a lead on a serial murderer. Clare perseveres though, and what follows is a delightful investigative mystery. I really like it when mysteries let us follow along and figure things out along with the protagonist, and that’s what this one does.
If I did have any issues with The Last Scoop, it was around one element of Clare’s personal backstory (you’ll know which one I mean when you read it), which seems shoehorned into this book. I get the impression that this storyline was developed in the two previous titles, and so if I had read those, I might feel differently. But instead, I was just a little impatient with it, because I wanted Clare to be out detecting! It wasn’t a big deal, and it didn’t detract too much from my enjoyment, but I sort of kept wondering if maybe this should have just been wrapped up in the previous book. Oh well…
All-in-all, though, I really liked The Last Scoop, and will keep an eye out both for the previous two books in the series, and for the next one, coming out soon. As far as a rating, I waffled a little bit on whether to give this 4-stars or 5-stars. But in the end, I decided that if I had read the previous two books, I probably would have felt better about that one bit of ongoing storyline, so I decided to round up: 5-stars it is. And finally, my thanks to Oceanview Publishing and Edelweiss for the advance review copy.