IN THIS TOWN, GOSSIP KILLS . . .When a widely despised gossip columnist is found shot to death, Riley Spartz must secretly investigate a case in which she becomes the prime suspect. In the wake of the brutal murder, our heroine discovers that news and gossip have more in common than she ever imagined. Trouble begins when Riley publicly clashes with newspaper gossip writer Sam Pierce, throwing a drink in his face after he implies in his popular column that she cheated on her husband. When clues to the homicide lead to her, Riley is charged with the crime. The police seem unwilling to look any further for perpetrators, although numerous local news- makers have reason for revenge-even a motive for killing.Meanwhile, competition in the Channel 3 newsroom is just as murderous. While Riley struggles to interest her boss in a story about rural wind farm bombings and dead bats, a new reporter spikes the station ratings with exclusive stories about the headless homicide of an unknown woman whose decapitated body is found in a city park.
Cartoonish characters and thin prose mar Kramer's third media-savvy thriller featuring Minneapolis, Minn., TV reporter Riley Spartz (after Missing Mark). When someone shoots to death newspaper gossip columnist Sam Pierce, who recently raised questions in his column about Riley's relationship with a former cop, Nick Garnett, so soon after her husband's death, Riley becomes a murder suspect. Another thorn in Riley's side is showboating Texan Clay Burrel, a fellow Channel 3 investigative journalist, who will stop at nothing to bury the competition, including Riley, with stories about such topics as a decapitated female corpse, Sam's murder, and the hijinks surrounding a wind turbine farm disrupted by explosive protests. Clay's corny, over-the-top John Wayne manner and an unconvincing subplot about Sam's personal life weigh down the action, though Kramer registers some sharp observations regarding the changes rocking the journalism industry. (June) Copyright 2010 Reed Business Information.
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June 21, 2010
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