Enjoyed this book very much.
Margaret Truman writes suspense novels with the best of them.
In addition to being a good mystery, I thought this provided interesting insights into the competitive world of news reporting.
Slightly different from her other mysteries. The setting is a fictional DC newspaper. Good story!
From Publishers Weekly
Instead of using an actual D.C. locale, Truman sets her solid 21st mystery (after 2004's Murder at Union Station) at the fictional Washington Tribune, not to be confused with any actual newspaper. When two young, attractive female media professionals, one a Tribune employee, are murdered, veteran crime reporter Joe Wilcox, who's been feeling the heat from his boss, senses a chance to improve his position by theorizing that a serial killer is at work. To complicate matters, Joe's brother, Michael, who was long ago institutionalized for killing a young girl, arrives in town and begins to insinuate himself back into Joe's life. Joe's daughter, Roberta, an up-and-coming local TV newscaster, competes for scoops as more mayhem follows. Truman works hard to put all the pieces together, and though it's not her most plausible puzzle, she delivers a satisfying resolution to what becomes a cautionary tale about ambition and a vote for journalistic integrity.
This is the first book I've read of this series; I wasn't too impressed, it started extremely slow and took a while to pick up the pace.
I wondered what kind of author Margaret Truman might be. Could the daughter of Harry S Truman, a not-so-good singer, write a decent book? She wrote 21 or so books in the Capital Crime Seriesbooks with tales of crime in and around Washington, D.C. I was pleasantly surprised, enough so to read a second of her series. She crafts a good story with characters that are well-developed and a not-readily apparent perpetuator of murder most foul.
Murder at the Washington Tribune takes us into the workings of a big daily paper that, like most newspapers, is struggling to survive the competition of tabloid journalism from 24x7 television and electronic-age digital competitors. What are the staid, respectable papers doing to keep readership yet compete with the changing interests of American readers (that could say, the dumbing down of people today)? It is intriguing to watch a well-respected journalist slide into the trap of sensationalism in trying to retain his hold on his readership.
All of the places mentioned in the bookthe hotels, the restaurants, the placesare real. If you have any familiarity with Washington at all, this helps the book come to life. My only complaint is that Ms Truman focuses a bit too much on what people eat when dining out or at home. Perhaps she is a secret foodie of some sort. That is a minor issue though and rather than detract, merely slows the speed of the tale being spun. (I find that many writers go into unnecessary detail merely to add heft to a book.)
I also recommend Murder at Union Station, the other book I read, which deals more with the political intrigue at the Capital.
At the big aggressive Washington Tribune, a young woman, fresh out of journalism school has been brutality strangled to death and the hunt for her killer is making sensational headlines. Then a second woman is found dead. She too worked in the media. For veteran Trib reporter Joe Wilcox, the case strikes too close to home, his daughter is a beautiful rising TV news star. Seeing a chance to revive his free falling career, Joe spearheads the Trib's investigation and baits a trap for the murdered with a secret from his own past. Suddenly Joe is risking his career, his marriage and even his daughter's life by playing a dangerous game with a possible serial killer ... one who hides in plain sight.