(Reviewed by J.D. Jung)
Imagine that a young journalist is stuck in a small town working for a small newspaper, but is plagued with a huge imagination and a tendency to stumble into even bigger predicaments. You say you’ve read it before? Don’t answer so quickly. Let me continue…
Young journalist Vicky Hill aspires to be the next Christiane Amanpour, as she fantasizes about uncovering the next headline story. Unfortunately at the Gipping Gazette she is only assigned to report on funerals. This is actually important as the Gazette prides itself on spelling each attendee’s name correctly in this small English town of Gipping-on-Plym in Devon. Don’t Google it; it’s only fictional. However, in a town where everyone supposedly knows everyone else, reputations are hard to break. Then again, people aren’t who they appear to be in this light and fun novel, A Vicky Hill Exclusive.
In addition to transferring out of funeral reporting and moving ahead of Annabel, her rival at the newspaper, the naïve Vicky would also like to find romance or at least lose her virginity. Her object of desire is a well-known hedge jumping champion, Dave Randall. Yes this is an actual sport. I did Google that.
While reporting on the funeral of the elderly Sir Hugh Trewallyn, Vicky finds some evidence that could prove that Sir Hugh was actually murdered. However as Vicky, who has probably read too much of Voodoo Vixens, digs deeper and deeper, the possible motives become blurred as well as her main suspect. Her naiveté leads her into troubling situations-dangerous and sexual-but she still knows enough not to divulge her damaging family secret.
A Vicky Hill Exclusive is an amusing character-driven story that will keep even those with the shortest of attention spans (like me) totally engaged. The supporting characters are memorable; there are a lot of them, but not too many to keep track of or bog down the story. From Vicky’s prudish landlady to the Pierce Brosnan look-a-like, to the café owner who apparently doesn’t care about customers or business– they all add color to the story. Of course, I can’t forget the disappointing Dave Randall.
However it’s all of the twists written with splashes of humor that kept me glued to the pages and unable to put this book down.
A Vicky Hill Exclusive is the first of four in a series released in the U. S. Two more are scheduled for immediate release in the U.K. I’m looking forward to finding out if Vicky makes it out of this stifling town and finally gets a personal life. More importantly, I’m anxious to discover what other messes our journalist gets herself into.