The Newsmakers Series by Lis Wiehl with Sebastian Stuart
Review: Lis Wiehl introduces Erica Sparks in The Newsmakers, the first in a new series of suspense novels. Erica, a recovering alcoholic, lost her job as a news reporter for a station in Boston and subsequently lost custody of her daughter at about the same time. She was hired after a stint in rehab has a television news reporter with a small station in New Hampshire. Two years sober, she recently moved to New York City to accept a position as field reporter for a new network, the Global News Network, founded, owned, and managed by Nylan Hastings, who is out to make a name for himself in the city. On her first assignment, an interview with Kate Middleton, the Duchess of Cambridge, Erica is witness to the horrifying crash into a seawall of the Staten Island Ferry. Some of the passengers are killed; many are injured. The newsreels record her running to help save children and families. GNN's ratings soar and Erica becomes an overnight sensation. She does a follow-up with the inspector from the NTSB and the pilot of the ferry to see if they know what happened. Although neither would go on the record as the reason for the crash, they both agree the computer system failed. Computer terrorism?
Her next high-profile assignment is to interview Kay Barrish, a candidate to be the first female president. After a light lunch, Barrish feels like she's having a heart attack. Erica immediately starts CPR while waiting for the paramedics to arrive. But Barrish dies before they come. The entire event was filmed, and becomes viral. Nylan Hastings, anxious to capture on her fame, gives Erica her own television show. And one of her first reports is that Barrish did not die naturally; she had been poisoned. Erica is suddenly suspicious that within such a short period of time, two major news events took place in her presence. Could they simply be coincidental? Being the investigative journalist she was trained to be, she starts to look for a connection. Even as Nylan orders her to stop, the incidents continue, even getting close to her daughter and the man she loves. Will she find the answers before anyone else gets hurt or killed?
The Newsmakers is a fast, exciting read. It is more thrilling than suspenseful, with a who's-behind-it storyline that is straight-forward in its approach. Erica Sparks is an appealing character and her feisty seven-year-old daughter is a treat. There are some romantic elements, but they are handled tastefully and there is no unusually graphic violence or vulgar language. On balance, a solid first entry in this series, one that is definitely worth following.
Special thanks to guest reviewer Betty of The Betz Review for contributing her review of The Newsmakers.
Acknowledgment: HarperCollins provided a copy of The Newsmakers for this review.
Review Copyright © 2016 — Hidden Staircase Mystery Books — All Rights Reserved
Selected reviews of other mysteries by this author …
Face of Betrayal
Thomas Nelson (Hardcover), April 2009
ISBN-13: 9781595547057; ISBN-10: 1595547053
Location(s) referenced in The Newsmakers: New York City
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The Newsmakers by Lis Wiehl with Sebastian Stuart — The Newsmakers Series
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Publication Date: January 2016
List Price: $26.99
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Page Author: Lance Wright
Site Publisher: Mysterious Reviews
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