Prime Time by Hank Phillippi Ryan is the first book in the Charlotte McNally mysteries and it’s a fast and good read that I really enjoyed. It’s a suspenseful thriller based in the journalism world made all the more realistic as Hank Phillippi Ryan is a television investigative reporter herself. What I liked even more is that the main character Charlotte (Charlie) is a forty-six year old woman trying to survive in a world where how you look and how old you are mean a lot. It was really refreshing to read something from the point of view of someone in my age range for once.
Charlie McNally is a character you can relate to. She starts off talking about her hot flashes, hangover and spam on her computer and how she’s never going to be able to get anything done and I was already hooked. Charlie is funny, sassy, intelligent and has a nose for getting the best stories and she has the awards to prove it. She’s not afraid to do whatever she has to in order to get her story – even to the point of risking her own life.
In this installment Charlie is scrambling for her big story for the November sweeps and she still hasn’t come up with anything. She is terrified that she’s on the way out, that she’ll be replaced by someone younger and prettier. Every time her snarly boss Angela phones or pops in her door, Charlie cringes.
As luck would have it Charlie stumbles on a story she wasn’t even looking for. She’s called in to interview the widow of a man who had just been killed in a car accident. She finds out that he had apparently sent her an email before he died so when Charlie heads back to the office she looks for this email and it ends up opening up a whole other can of worms. What seemed to be only spam actually turns out instead to be something sinister with a bunch of corporate firms – something that may have already caused a few deaths and may be putting Charlie’s life in danger as well. Will Charlie uncover what’s going on in time to save her own skin?
Prime Time is a great start to the series. Charlie and her producer Franklin make a great pair and Charlie’s sense of humor adds a spark to the story. There was even time for a little romance for Charlie who all but thought that romance was a dead end in her world. I’m really looking forward to reading the next in the series, Face Time, so keep an eye out for that review soon.