The Newsmakers, by Lis Wiehl and Sebastian Stuart

book coverPublisher’s Overview:

TV reporter Erica Sparks has become a superstar overnight. But is it due to her hard work and talent?  Or is she at the center of a spiraling conspiracy?

Erica Sparks is a beautiful and ambitious reporter who has just landed her dream job at Global News Network in New York. And while it was hard to leave Jenny, her cherished eight-year-old daughter, in the custody of her ex-husband, Erica is determined to succeed in the cutthroat world of big-time broadcasting. She can only hope her troubled past won’t come back to sabotage her dreams.

Although the wounds from her divorce are still fresh, Erica can’t deny the chemistry between her and her new producer, the handsome and empathic Greg Underwood. But a relationship is the last thing she wants right now.

On her very first assignment, Erica inadvertently witnesses—and films—a horrific tragedy, scooping all the other networks. Mere weeks later, another tragedy strikes – again, right in front of Erica and her cameras.

Her career skyrockets overnight, but Erica is troubled. Deeply. This can’t just be coincidence. But what is it?

Erica will stop at nothing to uncover the truth. But she has to make sure disaster—and her troubled past—don’t catch up with her first.

My Take:

I’ve never read a Lis Wiehl novel before this week, although I’ve often seen her on cable news as a judicial analyst. Looking at her fiction writing credits, it seems as though she mostly writes as part of a team. With The Newsmakers, her co-writer is Sebastian Stuart and I have to admit I’ve not heard of him before.

I found it difficult to get into The Newsmakers at first. I think it’s because the entire novel is written in the present tense from various perspectives. Erica isn’t the first character we meet either: that honor goes to the head of the cable network. Nylan immediately rubbed me the wrong way. He’s slimy and calculating and doesn’t care what he has to do to get his news channel to the top of the ratings. I stuck with the book and, thankfully, the story is compelling enough to get past the awkwardness of the tense and the unlikable characters. Because, as much as I disliked Nylan, I couldn’t get invested in Erica’s character either. I found minor characters such as Erica’s make up and wardrobe assistants much more appealing. I also didn’t know which characters Erica could trust. Who was for her and who was working against her?

As I’ve said, the plot was the saving grace of the novel for me. I didn’t quite know where it was headed and Erica slowly peels back the multiple layers of a scheme to keep GNN on the cutting edge of news. No event is ever quite enough to satisfy an insane megalomaniac and the narrative moves to a stunning conclusion. It’s a gritty read at times, with scenes of heavy drinking and drug taking and indications of prostitution and violence. The Newsmakers won’t be one of my favorite novels, but it was enough that I’ll certainly take an interest in Lis Wiehl’s next collaboration.

Thank you to Thomas Nelson for my complimentary electronic copy of The Newsmakers, which I downloaded from NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.

Do you plan to read The Newsmakers? Let me know your thoughts.

Publisher: Thomas Nelson (a division of HarperCollins)

Publication Date: 19 January 2016

Page Count: 352

Read more on:   Lis Wiehl’s Website   Thomas Nelson’s Website

Purchase on:   Amazon   Barnes & Noble   Books-a-million   Christianbook.com

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