The Exclusive

Severn River. (Booker Johnson Thrillers, Bk. 1). Mar. 2024. 300p. ISBN 9781648756009. pap. $18.99. THRILLER
Taylor (Frank Tower series) and Shea’s new thriller, the first in a new series, is a twisty crime drama set in sultry South Florida. Veteran TV journalist Booker Johnson has just learned he’s been demoted when he discovers a grisly crime scene that no other reporter has gotten wind of yet and he needs every trick in his bag to convince his station’s higher-ups to let him cover it. What he learns could put him in danger, but he’s convinced this could be the story that might restore his career and reputation. He’s also dealing with a newly discovered half-brother who could be involved with some undesirable people. The South Florida setting is primary author Taylor’s backyard, where he, a retired TV journalist himself, writes what he knows, giving readers a realistic whodunit with an intriguing storyline, an elusive barbarous villain, and a believable protagonist. Even though Booker Johnson is a bit of a loner he’s also a personable and diligent reporter who’s a team player and doesn’t mind sharing his knowledge with up-and-coming reporters.
VERDICT Fans who enjoy journalist sleuths, likable stars, and the novels of Michael Connelly and Hank Phillippi Ryan will find this hard to put down.
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