Hello, everyone, and happy weekend! This Saturday I’m excited to share my opinions on a recent read, “The Friday Edition” by Betta Ferrendelli, courtesy of a blog tour hosted by Dave of TheWriteReads group! Before jumping into my thoughts, here’s some information on other great bloggers participating in the tour you might want to check out. (I know I will be..always very curious to see what other fellow readers think 😉)
Bloggers participating in the tour:
|1/26/20||@FeelTheRead1 [post]||@lizbie88 [post]||@facingthestory|
|1/27/20||@theartsyreader1 [post]||@AVoraciousReadr [post]||@frostatmidnite|
|1/28/20||@Bookish_Kingdom [post]||@PaperteaBooks||@allieereads [post]|
|1/29/20||@BethTabler||@duchessofreadin [post]||@Stephen1308 [post]|
|1/30/20||@joycorkery [post]||@cantrellhayley1 [post]||@evadiva0516 [post]|
|1/31/20||@SifaPoulton [post]||@AOMbookreviews [post]||@daisyreads|
———- Now, onto the review!!! ———-
Christmas is coming to Denver, Colorado, but it isn’t only snow that’s falling.
A beautiful young woman, who also happens to be a Truman County Assistant DA, tumbles from her apartment balcony to her death on Christmas Eve.
The incident is ruled a suicide, but the DA’s sister, newspaper reporter Samantha Church, isn’t buying it.
Feverishly Samantha throws herself into finding out what really happened to her sister. She pursues her sister’s killers, maneuvering through a minefield of intrigue deliberately set out to divert her from the truth. She invariably stumbles when confronted by the inescapable specter of a greater enemy: the alcohol dependency that has already cost her the respect of her peers, and, worse, custody of her daughter.
Samantha must summon the courage to face not only a cartel of criminals, but also her own demons. Physically threatened and betrayed, she nearly defeats herself through her own insecurities and fears. She not only must summon the courage to get beyond her own shortcomings, but she must work quickly to beat her nemesis – a reporter at the major metropolitan daily newspaper, who is also in close pursuit of the developing story.
Can Samantha ultimately prevail, write the biggest story of her career, and finally begin to change her life before it is too late?From Goodreads
Content warning – this book contain topics such as child abuse and alcoholism for those who may be sensitive.
This was a pretty solid mystery/suspense read for me! Although there were some portions of the plot I didn’t agree with, it was an enjoyable and easy read. The story nestles in the intersection of greed, betrayal, morality, and family, lighting up the reader’s curiosity and sympathy as Sam endeavors to bring justice and meaning to her sister’s death. Engaging and well-written, the plot had enough twists to keep it interesting to the end. The end itself was very satisfying, and had a big twist which is delightful whether you suspect it coming or not.
Aside from the well-paced plot, I do want to specifically call out one element that held this book out uniquely from the crowd for me, which was the representation of Sam’s grief and struggles with alcohol. The author shows most of Sam’s journey, starting from a place of denial (which seems appropriate since that’s where everyone begins) and bringing the reader on all the ups and downs alongside her. Sam’s personal challenges make her more human, and although the book came very close to overdoing it I kept a soft spot in my heart for her. Sam’s battle with her own demons is contrasted with the journey of other characters around her such as her sister, who are at varying stages of their recovery. Overall I felt the underlying themes of struggles with substance abuse added an extra layer of depth and was realistic in its depiction.
There were only two pieces of the story that didn’t quite resonate with me. One of them was Sam’s incredible focus on getting the story out. Although I understood her role as a reporter was a critical part of her identity, it seemed harsh how hyper-focused she was on being the first to release the true story of her sister’s death. Both Sam and her manager put great weight on the value of the story, which I felt put the idea of justice and personal resolution/vengeance secondary and struck me as strange (though could have been a coping mechanism). The other issue I had with Sam’s character was her obsession towards her daughter. I can appreciate that her loss as a parent without custody must be very difficult, but it frustrated and annoyed me that Sam didn’t appear to respect her child’s wishes and boundaries. In those moments she came off to me as incredibly selfish, intruding into her daughter’s space when it could have been peace and a place of security she needed most. I imagine this might be a contentious plot point for various readers depending on their own experiences.
Despite not being fully in love with the main character at times, I appreciated her backstory and always rooted for her. The rest of the book had solid footing in great writing, plot, and pace. I ended up really enjoying this book and finished it pretty quickly. I’d recommend it for anyone searching for their next good night mystery read!
Many thanks again to the author and TheWriteReads for the opportunity to read and provide honest thoughts on this book for the blog tour!
About Betta Ferrendelli
Betta has been an award-winning journalist since 1989, having worked at newspapers in Denver, Seattle and Albuquerque. When she is not “novelling” as her sister used to say, she writes for a healthcare magazine.
On July 7, 2012, she published The Friday Edition, the first in an award-winning mystery series featuring newspaper reporter Samantha Church. The second book, Revenge is Sweet, published in November 2013 and Dead Wrong, book three, published in January 2015. Cold Case, No. 99-5219, the fourth book in the series, published in January 2018. On the Border, the fifth book in the series, will publish in early 2020.
She also has published two award-winning books in contemporary, women’s fiction: An Invincible Summer in September 2015 and Last Things in November 2016.