This weekend I was lucky enough to be invited to the launch of The Deadline, the second novel by TV presenter and author Jackie Kabler, and I also received an advanced copy to review.
Cora Baxter is back - and this time, she's facing the most important deadline of her career...
When TV reporter Cora Baxter attends the scene of a murder in a London park, she's horrified to discover the victim is someone she knows and devastated when one of her best friends is charged with the crime. Suddenly the fun-filled life of Cora and her eccentric camera crew takes a darker turn.
Cora is convinced that her friend is innocent, but with seemingly solid evidence, the police investigation team reluctantly led by Cora's boyfriend DCI Adam Bradberry believe the case is closed.
With a trail of clues that leads all the way to New York, can Cora find out the truth before the trial begins or is it already too late?
The Deadline is the second in the hugely popular Cora Baxter Mysteries series by acclaimed broadcaster Jackie Kabler.
My review is a little late, the book being published on 20th October, so I missed my deadline (see what I did there?). But I have finished it now, and I can honestly say it is brilliant!
I haven't read the first in this crime series, but this second book reads well as a stand-alone story, with the author filling in necessary points from Cora's first adventure without giving it away. Hence I will be reading The Dead Dog Day shortly.
I remember Jackie's humour from her days as roving reporter on GMTV, and I was pleased to see it shining through this did-she-or-didn't-she-and-if-not-then-who-did tale. There are some genuine laugh-out-loud moments, which, I am told, are based on true events which have happened either to Jackie herself or her colleagues. These funny moments keep the pace up, balancing out the more serious aspects of the story.
It's a crime thriller, but the overriding theme for me was that of friendship. Cora has strong friendships here; between her and her studio team, Sam, Alice & Wendy; her friends from back home, Rosie and Nicole; and the brilliant camardarie within her reporting team, Nathan, Rodney and Scott. I particularly love the way Sam's work colleagues all join forces to help Cora in her quest to prove Sam's innocence.
It's well-plotted and the dialogue flows naturally between the well-rounded characters. The climax of the story is jaw-dropping, and perhaps a little stretch of the imagination, but what the hell, this is fiction! It is fun, set in the world of live TV where anything can happen (and frequently does) and is a tightly written, fast pace story. I look forward to reading more of intrepid reporter/investigator Cora's adventures.
The Deadline is published by Accent Press and is available from Amazon, Waterstones and other retailers.
Jackie Kabler spent 20 years as a journalist, starting in newspapers and then moving into TV as a reporter and newsreader. She is most famous for her time on GMTV, where she covered major stories such as the Soham murders and the 2004 tsunami, and also worked for ITV news and BBC Midlands. Jackie now works for QVC and lives between London and Gloucestershire.