This mystery has a unique plot that will keep you guessing! Even though this is a Harlequin, the mystery is the dominant story-line set against the backdrop of ratings month at TV Channel 3. Charlie is a fun character, slightly under-confident, but with a strong nose for camera-worthy news! Of course there is a romantic interest, but Charlie isn't sure whether the oh-so-charming Josh is friend or foe!
R. E. (re) reviewed Prime Time (Charlotte McNally, Bk 1) (Harlequin Next, No 85) on
Helpful Score: 3
Terrific fun 'read'! Written by an Emmy Award-Winning television reporter. Gives reader an insiders' peek at what goes on, at what is 'necessary', and lots of suspense. Well-written. I loved this character. The style makes for a truly enjoyable and memorable read. I look forward to the next two books promised to be coming out by this author: "Face Time", and "Air Time". Fascinating world she thrives in.
An Emmy award winning investigative reporter Charlie McNally follows the emails and other clues deeper into a fraud ring, while murder and mayhem follows her! Of course since this is a Harlequin, there is some romance and a happy ending. Exciting read. Narrative reminds me of Janet Evanovich's Stephanie Plum novels.
Prime Time by Hank Phillippi Ryan #1 in series
Have fun investigating this one..., September 1, 2009
What more can you ask for when you're wanting a fun suspense story with minimal gore and no blood and guts? In
PRIME TIME, you get a 46-year-old intensely competitive investigative TV news reporter, an interesting crime, and a little romance. This is the initial offering in what is so far a four book series featuring Charlotte McNally and her producer Franklin. Working for Channel 3 News, they uncover what appears to be some type of white collar crime. Unfortunately, the whistle blower who sent Charlie the initial email dies or is murdered before he can reveal the details of the crime or name the perpetrators. Racing against a November sweeps rating deadline, Charlotte and Franklin team up to uncover a cunning get-rich scheme that surpasses that of many recently indicted criminals we've heard about in the news.
Enjoy this fast-paced mystery, the clever internal dialog that Charlie has with herself, the humor with her pithy quotes about J-school, and the pleasantly original plot. Then order the next books in the series as they are published, Face Time (Charlotte Mcnally Mysteries), Air Time (Charlotte McNally Mysteries), and Drive Time (slated for a 2010 release).
The novels won't give you chills or nightmares, but I think you'll enjoy the character of Charlotte McNally and her escapades. I usually go for the more hard core chiller thrillers, but this one was a very nice diversion.
Prime Time is the first book in a new mystery series by Hank Phillippi Ryan. Charlotte McNally is an Emmy winning investigative reporter for a leading Boston television station. At age 46 she feels she is loosing her edge. This is a big source of stress for her as she has devoted her whole life to being a journalist. She isn't married and she has no children. When she thinks about it, she doesn't have many close friends either.
Sweeps is coming up and she needs a humdinger of a story to present to the station or she fears she will be fired. With the help of her producer Franklin Parrish, she begins investigating the death of a man that was labeled a suicide, who worked for a pharmaceuticals company . This same pharmaceutical company is being investigated for fraud. She wonders if there is a connection.
At first when I started reading Prime Time and I realized that the heroine was 46 years old I felt my red flag go up. I don't typically read books with the heroine older than myself (32) and I wasn't sure if I would be able to relate to her. Turns out I didn't need to worry because Charlotte or Charlie as her friends call her, is a sympathetic character. Sure she is older, but older isn't necessarily bad in this case. I would think of it like a fine wine, after a few years the wine's flavors become bolder and more fragrant. Charlie grows on you. She is a good mixture of sarcasm and vulnerability topped off with a generous helping of whit and intelligence.
It is very obvious that Ms. Ryan is an expert in the field of television reporting. Her descriptions of newsroom antics and politics are very vivid and ring true. Also, the mystery was very creative and was executed with precision. I found myself engrossed as Charlie uncovered clues leading her one step closer to unraveling it all. As far as the romance is concerned there was a little, but probably not enough to satisfy fans of romance. I think as long as you are a fan of romantic suspense or mystery and readers keep in mind that the romance is not the focus, then they will enjoy this book. I will definitely be reading the next book Face Time in the future.
For over twenty years Charlie McNally has year after year produced blockbuster stories for the Channel 3 news to win the November ratings contest. Now at 46, she is starting to worry about her stories being number one to keep from getting fired and replaced with someone half her age with a smaller salary. This year to add to the pressure she has a new boss, so she knows she must come up with the story of a lifetime.
Charlie is assigned to go interview the wife of an accident victim and while there the wife asks Charlie why she ignored her husbands emails before his death. Back at her office she digs through the email trash and learns he sent the same email to two other people and that it is a bit cryptic.
She starts asking more questions and thinks she may be on to something big. The accident has now been ruled as suicide but Charlie's not so sure. Her own investigation leads her straight to Josh Gelston whom is very helpful and very handsome, but is he too helpful? Can she trust him or will she end up as a victim in the next lead story?
This story had the makings to be a very good book with good characters, humor, suspense, and a nice plot. However, the story was told in first person and I found myself struggling to stay interested. It was very jumpy from thought to thought, then back to someone talking, then back to the thoughts in her head and I couldn't stay focused on the book. If you like stories told in first person you will enjoy this light read but I'm not sure that I personally will pick up book two.