All The Books I Can Read

1 girl….2 many books!

Review: Deadly Politics by LynDee Walker

on April 3, 2019

Deadly Politics (Nichelle Clarke #7)
LynDee Walker
Severn River Publishing
2019, 382p
Copy courtesy of the author

Blurb {from the publisher/}:

Reporter Nichelle Clarke’s dream of covering a presidential speech is dashed when she finds herself intertwined in a high-profile murder investigation. While Nichelle is no stranger to facing dangerous situations in pursuit of the truth, the stakes in this story are higher than ever before.

Unsure of who she can trust, Nichelle must unravel a web of secrets behind an elaborate murder plot and dodge legal traps set by corrupt politicians. For if Nichelle can’t uncover the conspiracy in time, an unthinkable disaster will strike the nation.

Okay, I knew it’d been a while, but apparently it’s been 2.5 years since the previous Nichelle Clarke book (then titled the Headlines in High Heels Mysteries). Since then, the author has acquired a new publisher for the series, the series has a new look and also a new name – they’re now the Nichelle Clarke Crime Thrillers. The new covers are edgier and definitely darker than the previous ones, which reflected a much more cosy feel. I binged the previous books over a period of about six months, I think. The first four or five had been released and then I picked up the others. I’ve checked back periodically since reading the 6th, hoping it would continue and the 7th is finally here.

No sooner does Nichelle get the amazing news that she’s being pulled in by the political reporter to help cover a Presidential visit to Richmond, when she gets an interesting tidbit of information – a dead body has been found in the Mayor’s office. Kyle, ATF agent and Nichelle’s long-ago boyfriend, sends a cryptic message hinting at the identity of the victim but then vanishes, giving her the standard ‘no comment’ line.

That doesn’t wash with Nichelle – he can’t just offer up some information and then vanish after begging her not to print it. Nichelle is determined to get to the bottom of what happened, especially as it seems like the possible victim (apparently identification is an issue) is someone that she knows from an earlier case she investigated and reported on. Nichelle is also confused when she confides in Joey, her boyfriend of dubious employment and it seems he’s much more affected by this death than she expected. What exactly is going on? Joey has also warned her off the Presidential coverage but is vague about the why – just that he doesn’t want her anywhere near it. Nichelle doesn’t really do what she’s told, especially if he’s not going to give her a reason but she’s curious about what Joey knows that she doesn’t. And that’s a whole can of worms right there, given Joey’s line of work and the difficulties of being a crime reporter when your boyfriend is probably in the business of producing it. The deeper Nichelle gets, the more intriguing and dangerous this becomes – and when she takes a gamble, she might not just have blown up her career but she could also have signed her own death warrant.

This was an explosive ride from start to finish, in lots of ways. I feel as though this is a bit of a new direction for Nichelle, perhaps to match the new look. The fundamentals are still the same – Nichelle is still amazing at her job, she still has a great ‘nose’ for trouble and she’s still smart enough to puzzle things through, although this book does lead to her getting it wrong at one stage, but she figures out so quickly why and how. Nichelle has been struggling in her job for a while – it’s not a qualifications issue. It’s more the owner of the newspaper doesn’t really like her and has wanted to replace her for quite a while now. Nichelle’s boss Bob has always been able to back her up and keep her in the crime position but the way that things play out here suggest a very new direction for both Bob and Nichelle and I think I like it. I think it gives her a lot more scope and it might allow her to branch out into some more diverse and complex topics and features. I think the dynamics of the new situation will be really interesting in future books.

Something else that will be interesting is the situation with Joey. I really like Joey and have ever since he appeared in Nichelle’s living room in the first book. I’ve always been curious as to how Walker would progress with Nichelle and Joey given their different….situations and it seems she’s decided in this book. I’m not sure I like one of the complications of this but I hope it’s short term pain for some long term gain. I think the thing I like the most about Joey is that deep down, he knows that Nichelle is always going to do what she’s going to do – and it’s get on board or get out of the way. And he tends to just get on board. He might occasionally try to warn her off (like with the Presidential visit) but ultimately, he knows that it isn’t going to work. Nichelle simply isn’t like that. And he better just roll his sleeves up and try and keep her from getting dead, but in this book it’s kind of Nichelle who keeps Joey from getting dead. They work together so well, I’d really enjoy seeing them in that capacity more in the future.

I think this is probably my favourite in the series.


Book #50 of 2019



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