“The Newsmakers” is a fast paced read by Lis Wiehl, and Sebastian Stuart, published by Thomas Nelson. The story opens with a Staten Island ferry crashing into the crowds in New York in a horrific accident. This is witnessed by chance by television reporter Erica Sparks, who has recently joined GNN, Global News Networks, a media business conglomerate. She has come up the hard way from a rough childhood in a poor family in rural Maine. The beautiful Ms. Sparks worked her way through Yale and is as talented as she is ambitious.
The young reporter, for whom the break in GNN represents a big leap in her career, if she make a success of her new position, is intrigued by the way the ferry crashed in front of her eyes. She is determined to find out what caused this gruesome accident. As time goes by, Erica lands several prestigious assignments and is seen to be a rising star in the network.
A coup that she pulled off by arranging a personal meeting with Ms Kay Barrish, a likely candidate for the President of the United States, turns into a disaster when the famous Ms Barrish virtually dies in front of her. Erica, already involved in the New York ferry case now has to deal with a more complex and high-profile mystery. There are many pointers, she finds, to suggest that the two may be linked, however improbable that may sound. Her worst fears are confirmed when a systems whiz, Mark Benton, who is her close confidant, is half beaten to death.
Erica has the world at her feet as her reputation soars which makes Nylan Hastings, the maverick owner of GNN, give her what she has always dreamt of, a chance to host a show of her own. Her enthusiasm for her dream assignment are somewhat dampened when Hastings tells her in no uncertain terms that she must quit being an investigative reporter. She is not sure whom she can trust though she is tempted to confide in her producer, the handsome Greg Underwood, whom she is strongly attracted to.
Hastings tells her he knows about her past, which is something she had hoped would not surface in GNN. Her career is at stake and Erica has to make hard choices. On the one hand, she would love to start a new life with her daughter Jenny who is just seven, currently living with Erica’s ex-husband. On the other, she is fearful of what she may find as she plunges on into her investigations in the cases in which, by now, she has got deeply involved.
What happens to Erica and the cases she pursues is detailed in a highly readable manner. Recommended strongly. The book is slated to be formally released in January 2016 and this review is based on a copy received through Net Galley.
Lis Wiehl is the author of several thrillers, and a legal analyst for Fox News. A graduate of the Harvard Law School, she is an adjunct professor at the New York Law School. In an interview I saw via a podcast she mentioned that she liked to see a lot of corpses in her books! This one certainly has a fair share of them.