“You’re only as good as your last story...”
I assumed initially that Prime Time (the first of three that I have to
read) was by a male author, so I wondered how well it would work, knowing that the first-person narration is that of a woman. However, it turns out that Hank Phillippi Ryan is a female – an award-winning television reporter (not known to me in the UK), and much of her
career experience clearly informs this book.
Charlotte McNally is a successful television reporter, but she’s now at that dodgy age (46) when she may be too old for the camera and her job might be at risk. She knows she’s got to get a huge story for the November ratings so that she can be sure of employment for the following year - but will she find a story?
The answer is yes. The story comes to her in dribs and drabs, beginning with the death of a man in a car accident and continuing through a series of strange spam emails, folders containing investment information about various companies, and a rather handsome schoolteacher. Charlotte and her producer, Franklin, are trying to work out if there is a story buried amid all that.
They soon discover that being involved with this story could be very dangerous indeed.
Prime Time is a good read. I liked Charlie and enjoyed the way the author explains her fears about her age and her job. Some of the other characters, such as the appalling Angela and the appealing Josh,
are also good. The pace works well for this novel, and the insights into the life of a television reporter
are interesting - although Charlotte seems rather too ‘nice’ to be a media success to me. My one reservation
is that I didn’t quite understand all the threads of the plot, particularly with regard to the spam emails and investment situations.
The ‘baddie’ is well done, though, and a surprise to me, and I look forward to reading the next two books in the series.