So I really did enjoy this book from beginning to end. The only reason why I gave it four stars was that I found certain plot points kind of tasteless (i.e. Nichelle's coworker Shelby and the constant commenting on her bedroom habits) and the flow was off here and there. However, other than that, I thought it was a very nice set-up to the series.
Nichelle Clarke is a twenty something investigative reporter living in Richmond, Virginia. Her dream is to go and work for the Washington Post someday as a political reporter (I am shocked by that, I don't think anyone in D.C. even looks at the Post as the most credible news source out there anymore) and is slowly building up her reputation in Richmond. While working on a story about two robberies/murders that may be linked, she also gets pulled into an investigation involving some Richmond PD officers who died on a boat.
I thought that Nichelle's editor/father figure Bob was really great. I had someone like that in my life early in my career too. You need that person that is going to push/pull you and also you get just as irritated as Nichelle does that her investigative job may be up for grabs to her annoying coworker Shelby.
Speaking of Shelby, I was sick of her and her machinations regarding Nichelle. In the real world she would have been fired and or reported to HR for her unprofessional behavior. Having her act like a jerk and we find sleeping with those in charge to advance her career, ugh. I wish we could just have a story about two women who are good at their jobs with Shelby not being looked as being "bad" for using sex to advance herself. Why can't she just be good at her job? That was the only part of the story that fell a little bit flat to me.
We also get some other characters introduced in this one, Nichelle's best friend, and her coworker Parker. And we also get some asides thrown out about her high school boyfriend. There seemed to be a lot of things going on at once, but Walker managed to keep the story going with the main focus really being on the story that Nichelle investigates and not her non-existent love life. I am not going to lie, some of the secondary characters were a bit thin, and there didn't seem to be much backstory really to Nichelle's character, but I assume that we will get more information on her in future stories.
I thought the writing was really good and Walker I found out used to work on a newspaper so you can definitely see that she knows what she is talking about. This book gave a really nice insider look in how stories are developed and how reporters have working relationships with the police.
I think the flow was off here and there, not a lot, but just a little because the story sometimes got really muddled when we have Nichelle trying to fit all of the pieces together, so some times I found myself re-reading things trying to figure out what was going on.
The setting of Richmond, Virginia was great. Walker really does a good job describing the town and the different areas in the community. She also has me hoping that the bookstore that she described in this story really does exist. I may have to take a road trip and investigate.
The ending had everything wrapped up in a slightly messy bow with a hint of more mysteries to come with Nichelle at the center of them.