Saturday, June 12, 2021

ARC Review: Beyond the Headlines by R. G. Belsky

Beyond the Headlines

R. G. Belsky
Series: Clare Carlson (Book 4)
Publication: Oceanview Publishing (May 4, 2021)

Description: She was a mega-celebrity—he was a billionaire businessman—now he’s dead—she’s in jail

Laurie Bateman was living the American dream. Since her arrival as an infant in the U.S. after the fall of Saigon, the pretty Vietnamese girl had gone on to become a supermodel, a successful actress, and, finally, the wife of one of the country’s top corporate dealmakers. That dream has now turned into a nightmare when she is arrested for the murder of her wealthy husband.

New York City TV journalist Clare Carlson does an emotional jailhouse interview in which Bateman proclaims her innocence—and becomes a cause celebre for women’s rights groups around the country.

At first sympathetic, then increasingly suspicious of Laurie Bateman and her story, Clare delves into a baffling mystery which has roots extending back nearly fifty years to the height of the Vietnam War.

Soon, there are more murders, more victims, and more questions as Clare struggles against dire evil forces to break the biggest story of her life.

My Thoughts: Clare Carlson is the News Director for New York City's Channel 10 but she had a past in reporting for newspapers. She's won Pulitzers and solved some mysteries along the way. As a person, she is thrice divorced and has trail of failed relationships and exes behind her. She is definitely a workaholic which is currently getting in the way of building a relationship with her daughter and granddaughter.

She gets a chance to interview a major celebrity named Laurie Bateman who is married to billionaire Charles Hollister. But before the interview can take place, Laurie is found with the body of her husband who just happens to have been shot with her gun. He was getting ready to divorce her and rewrite his will which currently left her the majority of his estate. 

Clare does get a jailhouse interview with Laurie who throws a bombshell when she accuses her dead husband of emotional and physical abuse. She immediately becomes the focus of the #metoo movement and gains all sorts of public support. Clare is sure that Laurie is innocent even though the all the evidence points to her as the murderer. 

Clare immediately begins to look into who else might have a reason to murder Charles Hollister and she finds lots of suspects. He has a mistress with a jealous ex. He has a son who is a major screw-up with delusions that he is competent. He has a number of business rivals who have reasons to want him dead. 

However, Clare has a chance of heart about her belief in Laurie's innocence when her plea at her hearing is cribbed from one of her early movie roles. Clare decides to look into her past. Laurie was born in Vietnam and managed to escape with her mother when things were falling apart at the end of the war. It just so happens that Charles and his business partner were also in Vietnam as the US was withdrawing. 

Clare learns at lot while she is looking into Laurie's past and it gives her an excuse to put off looking into her own past. Her daughter has told her that she has inherited a breast cancer gene and urges Clare to be tested to see if the gene came from her or if it came from the man Clare had a one-night stand with while a college sophomore. If it didn't come from her, Clare feels that she will have to contact the man's family to let them know about the gene. 

Clare is also between relationships in this episode though two of her exes to have small roles to play. Clare is also looking at a potential career change when a headhunting firm from LA has approached her to star in a new talk show that is in the works. 

This was a very contemporary mystery with a "ripped from the headlines" feel to it. I liked the look into big city news organizations. 

Favorite Quote:
I'd run a long way to get away from the memories of m past.

But not far enough.

The past always catches up with you.
I received this one in exchange for an honest review from NetGalley. You can buy your copy here.

1 comment:

  1. This caught my interest probably due to my journalism studies... way back when. I might try the first book in the series sometime.
    Thanks for sharing your thoughts.


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