Title: The Friday Edition (Samantha Church #1)
Author: Betta Ferrendelli
Obtained from: Received from Author in exchange for an honest review
Synopsis (from Goodreads):
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?
About the Author (from Goodreads):
I was born in Trinidad, Colorado and grew up in Denver. I am a graduate of Metropolitan State University of Denver with a degree in communications and a minor in journalism. I have been lucky enough to work in my field all my professional life. I have been an award-winning journalist since 1989, having worked at newspapers in Denver, Seattle and Albuquerque.
I began my journalism career in 1989 working for The Raton Range, a small newspaper in northern New Mexico. During my three-year stay, I earned more than a dozen writing awards, including the Guy Radar Award, which recognized best medical reporting in the state. I won the award for chronicling a man’s battle with breast cancer.
I returned to Denver in 1992, to work for a group of community weekly newspapers covering the west side. I worked in the Mile High City until 1997, when I landed a job with a newspaper in Washington State. I moved to Bainbridge Island, where I lived and worked for two newspapers until 2004. Though I loved living in the Pacific Northwest, I decided I wanted to return to the Southwest and landed a position in 2004 as managing editor for the Rio Rancho Observer, covering Rio Rancho, the third largest city in New Mexico. I worked for The Observer and lived in Albuquerque through September 2007. I earned more than a dozen writing award while leading the editorial team at The Observer, including a “Public Service” award from the New Mexico Press Association. The series of articles highlighted the poor post office situation in Rio Rancho. I always like to think it was because of our series that the postal service eventually improved for the city. The International Society of Weekly Newspaper Editors (ISWNE) also recognized me in 2005 and 2006 for excellence in editorial writing.
I returned to Denver in 2007 to work for the same community weekly newspapers covering Denver’s west side—this time as editor. I left the papers in 2008. I continue to write professionally today for magazines. I currently write for the O&P EDGE magazine, a niche healthcare publication in Northglenn, Colorado.
No one really wants to think about a suicide on Christmas Eve, much less a murder! Betta considered both and managed to write about it in an awesome mystery novel that leaves you hungry for more! The pace of the novel is good- the plot builds at a steady pace. Once you start reading you really want to continue so that you can figure out what happens. I was 100% convinced I had figured out the entire story several pages in, only to find out that I had been wrong!!!! This novel really balances the personal struggles of Samantha with a very intriguing mystery!
I really liked all of the characters and thought that they each added to the book in their own little way. The depiction of Samantha as an alcoholic was very believable, and you could really feel the friendship between Wilson and Samantha expand as the story went on. I felt so bad for Samantha throughout the entire book and kept routing for her! I wanted everything to work out so badly!!! I also really enjoyed the fact that she wouldn’t give up no matter what happened or what was thrown in her way- she kept persisting that she would finish what she had started. One thing I was confused about at the beginning of the book was who Todd and Brady were- they weren’t introduced very well and so I got confused as to who they were. It wasn’t until later on in the story that I figured it out and it all made sense.
Betta added in “Reporter’s Notebook” sections throughout the novel so that we could go further into what Samantha was thinking and feeling. I loved this! I always think that what characters say and do only shows so much of the character, but reading diary entries/notebook writing helps people understand where the author was trying to go with the character and why they might be doing something that they are doing. I wish that there had been more of these sections through the book.
This story was a great read and very enjoyable! I recommend this to those of you who enjoy mystery books. Its a good one for Christmas since it takes place around Christmas, but I have to warn you, your heart does break and you start to value your family even more.
Great job on an awesome novel Betta! I can’t wait to read the next one!