Sixth thriller in the series about Clare Carlson, investigative journalist in New York, features BROADCAST BLUES. Whereas earlier stories such as Below The Fold felt more firmly rooted in newspaper work, which Clare has now left behind, the broadcast theme puts her firmly on air with Channel 10.
The big news is a car bomb which has killed Wendy Kyle, a former NYPD officer, who left under a cloud of rumoured assault on a boss who sexually harassed her. She became a private investigator. As the producer for a news show Clare Carlson wants to support a woman who was let down by officialdom, and assure the other citizens that they are safe.
The Channel 10 news staff are lively as ever, providing continuity for the reader between books. Susan Endicott is the manager Clare doesn’t like, but they manage to become frenemies for this tale. Clare has her work cut out with Brett and Dani, the co-anchors, who are in a fractious relationship which sometimes shows on air; a sports reporter who doesn’t like sports; and a traffic reporter who wants a helicopter that is definitely not in the budget. The owner of Channel 10, media baron Brendan Kaiser, is selling the business, and all feels precarious.
Learning that the late Wendy Kyle was catching cheating husbands makes Clare wonder if she made powerful enemies. For instance, the name of Jaime Ortiz, a former police commissioner and now candidate in a primary election for governor, appears in connection with the lady. Other wealthy and influential men think nothing of dating women outside marriage, and Clare, approaching a significant birthday, does a lot of stopping to think about her own life.
The thrice-divorced Clare still looks at men with interest, but doesn’t make time for a social life. She wonders if she’ll be left to age alone, but thinks it’s not too late to find the right man, though we see that he is almost certainly going to be a divorcee too.
I found the second half of the tale moves much faster, as all the pieces are in place and expert author R.G. Belsky just starts toppling a chain of dominoes. At that point it’s hard to look away from the page. Expect murder and duplicity, all covered by Channel 10. BROADCAST BLUES could refer to the NYPD, the troubles at the station, or the angst of a woman seeing her best years in the rear view mirror. These make a powerful combination and probably Belsky’s best story to date.
Wendy Kyle took secrets to her grave— now, Clare Carlson is digging them up
New York City has no shortage of crime, making for a busy schedule for TV newswoman Clare Carlson. But not all crimes are created equal, and when an explosive planted in a car detonates and kills a woman, Clare knows it' ll be a huge story for her.
But it' s not only about the story— Clare also wants justice for the victim, Wendy Kyle. Wendy had sparked controversy as an NYPD officer, ultimately getting kicked off the force after making sexual harassment allegations and getting into a physical altercation with her boss. Then, she started a private investigations business, catering to women who suspected their husbands of cheating. Undoubtedly, Wendy had angered many people with her work, so the list of her suspected murderers is seemingly endless.
Despite the daunting investigation, Clare dives in headfirst. As she digs deeper, she attracts the attention of many rich and powerful people who will stop at nothing to keep her from breaking the truth about the death of Wendy Kyle— and exposing their personal secrets that Wendy took to her grave.