Thursday, August 18, 2011

review: hot, shot, and bothered by nora mcfarland

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With years of her own TV news experience, Nora McFarland accurately depicts the world of Bakersfield chief photographer Lilly Hawkins. In the second in the series, a deadly fire rages as the body of a woman from Lilly’s past is pulled from the lake. The woman is presumed to have accidentally drowned in a drunken stupor until Lilly starts raising questions based on her knowledge of the woman. Soon Lilly is chasing leads on two stories and putting her life in danger as she uncovers a career-making conspiracy.

Hot, Shot, and Bothered won immediate points with me by depicting KJAY-TV realistically. Unlike so many books/movies/TV shows, this one didn’t glamorize the industry or have characters pulling off miraculous “gets” (and speaking of “gets,” the characters are callously accurate in how they play a game about who the better get is). Instead KJAY has only two microwave trucks and is forced to make a deal with the LA station also covering the fire in order to get use of their satellite truck for live shots. Beyond nailing the TV news portion (which is hugely important to the plot), McFarland also creates compelling characters and an intriguing murder conspiracy with a satisfying conclusion.
Review copy provided by the publisher, Touchstone.

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