Tuesday, September 27, 2022

ARC Review: It's News to Me by R. G. Belsky

It's News to Me

R. G. Belsky
Series: Clare Carlson (Book 5)
Publication: Oceanview Publishing (October 4, 2022)

Description: Dashed dreams: she wanted to run for president one day, now she’s dead at 20

When Riley Hunt—a beautiful, smart, popular student at Easton College in Manhattan—is brutally murdered, it becomes a big story for TV newswoman Clare Carlson.

After days of intense media coverage, a suspect is caught: a troubled Afghanistan war veteran with a history of violent and unstable behavior. The suspect’s mother, however, comes to Clare with new evidence that might prove her son’s innocence.

As Clare digs deeper into the puzzling case, she learns new information: Riley had complained about being stalked in the days before her murder, she was romantically involved with two different men—the son of a top police official and the son of a prominent underworld boss—and she had posted her picture on an escort service’s website offering paid dates with wealthy men.

Soon, Clare becomes convinced that Riley Hunt’s death is more than just a simple murder case—and that more lives, including her own, are now in danger until she uncovers the true story.

My Thoughts: News Director for New York City's Channel 10 Clare Carlson has to deal with a new boss and a complex mystery in her fifth adventure.

The television station's owner has hired a new executive producer for the news division. Susan Endicott has come in to boost the station's ratings - not to make friends. She and Clare are in conflict immediately. Clare is more interested in the news than the ratings. 

When an attractive blonde co-ed named Riley Hunt is murdered just feet away from her dorm at Easton College, all the elements are there for a big news story. As Clare begins to investigate, she finds lots of questions. Who is Riley Hunt? Is she the bright, bubbly, friendly person everyone says she is? What about her fiancĂ© who's the son of the deputy police commissioner who takes over the case? What about her possible relationship with the son of a local crime boss? Why is she pictured on a website the bills itself as a dating app but is charging fees for the girls to go on "dates"? And, what about her strange relationship with her mother? Then there's the odd reactions of her roommate, a Wanna-Be actress. 

Clare is deep into her investigation when a homeless Afghanistan war vet is arrested for the crime. He had her cellphone and her blood on it and some of his clothes. But he is so mentally and emotionally damaged that he doesn't remember committing the crime. Clare is skeptical that he is the killer, and when he supposedly commits suicide in jail, she's even more skeptical.

Clare keeps investigating while juggling her new boss's attempts to shake things up in the newsroom. And three-times divorced Clare meets a new man - a professor at Princeton - who is also taking up some of time.

I really enjoyed this episode in the series. Clare is a great character who is excellent at her job but who has a train-wreck of a personal life. I like that she's witty, even though her boss doesn't appreciate her sense of humor any more than Clare's suspects do. 

Fans of mysteries with strong, but flawed, female characters will enjoy this story. 

Favorite Quote:
"But it's time for you to move on from this story now."

"I realize that."

"Just put it behind you."


"So is that what you're going to do?"

"Have we met?"

"Right." She sighed.

"So what are you going to do now?"
I received this one in exchange for an honest review from NetGalley. You can buy your copy here.

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