Thursday, January 14, 2016

Cover Shot (A Headlines in High Heels Mystery #5)

Author:  LynDee Walker
Genre:  Mystery/Suspense

Hardcover; Paperback; Ebook
ISBN #:  9781943390243; 9781943390212
Henery Press
308 Pages; 312 Pages
$31.95; $15.95; $4.99 Amazon
November 10, 2015

Five Stars

It's been a slow month in Richmond, and crime reporter Nichelle Clarke is enjoying the downtime when ominous messages and a dead body kick things into high gear.  And that's before the guy with the rifle takes a hospital full of people hostage.  Up to the top of her knee-high Prada boots in leads, Nichelle finds her favorite detectives under pressure to make an arrest, but it doesn't add up - and ignoring the "why" of this story could cost Nichelle the most important person in her life.  With too much to lose, a shot at the story of a lifetime, and a missing bullet that might be the key, landing this headline could save the day, but can Nichelle dig up the truth before the killer buries her with it?

********

Nichelle Clarke is a crime reporter for the Richmond Telegraph and very good at what she does.  She has recently been receiving ominous messages on Twitter, and calls her police detective friend Aaron White to discuss them.  But before she can, her scanner bleeps that a dead body's been found...

Which all seems pretty much normal for Nichelle.  Except that this time, it isn't.  Not that her life is normal, anyway.  She has an ex-boyfriend, Kyle Miller, who's a hotshot at the ATF, and a current boyfriend who's, well, Nichelle's not sure, but Joey is all she wants right now, so she doesn't ask too many questions.  Her boss Bob Jeffers is under pressure from his boss to retire, and Nichelle is doing what she can to help him keep his job by staying on top of her game.  And then there's the messages, and the dead body...

But nothing is cut and dried.  The police won't tell her who the victim is.  They won't even tell her how he died.  Kyle has unexpectedly been assigned to the case too, which sets off her inner Lois Lane to the fact that there's More to the Story.  And indeed there is.  But what is it?  The police are being awfully close-lipped, refusing to give anything but basic information.  Male Caucasian, sixty-four.  That's it.  So Nichelle begins digging...

Not too much later, there is a hostage situation at a hospital.  A man is holed up inside with a rifle, and wants to speak only with Nichelle and Charlie, the television reporter and Nichelle's main rival for news.  The cops tell her it's too dangerous to go in there, but Nichelle decides that there are too many lives at stake, and makes the decision on her own.  So enter she does, and finds not a desperate killer, but a desperate man; one who wants only that his wife be saved - his beloved wife who is dying of cancer, and trying everything else, this is his last resort.  Diffusing the situation, Nichelle has no idea that the two cases are tied together somehow.

In between trying to solve the murder on her own (with the help of a few friends along the way) she discovers things about the previous editor of her paper that ties into the case; and knowing that Joey's "career" might not be on the up-and-up, she does her best to keep Kyle from getting too close and digging too deep, lest he ruin what she considers the Best Thing in Her Life.  Although the romance factor is secondary, it is a strong part of the book and just as intriguing as the mystery surrounding the 'dead Caucasian.'  But as Nichelle digs deeper and gets closer, she finds things that stun even her.  Things that could not only get her killed, but others as well...

There are books that are good, and those that are just so-so.  Good, bad, indifferent.  There comes upon us occasionally a book that is both interesting and entertaining.  A book that will pull us into the story, a labyrinth of of clues that all converge in one place - eventually.  But it is the getting there that makes all the difference.  And this, my friends, is what Ms. Walker has done.

She has created plot twists to end all plot twists.  There are so many 'what ifs' and possible suspects that it is nearly impossible to center on just one.  And the end - at last we come to the final pages - when it is all put together, she gives us an end so satisfying, so beautifully done, that we realize it doesn't matter how long it took us to get to the destination because the journey itself was worth the time.  This, my friends, is a book worth reading.  Highly recommended.







                                                  

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