Crime doesn't pay...but neither does journalism. DRM-free.
CRIME BEAT: A MYSTERY NOVELLA
When John Moretz takes a job as a reporter in the Appalachian town of Sycamore Shade, a crime wave erupts that boosts circulation and leaves people uneasy. Then a murder victim is discovered, and Moretz is first on the scene.
As more bodies turn up, Moretz comes under police suspicion, but the newspaper's sales are booming due to his coverage of sensational crime. His editor is torn between calling off his newshound and cashing in on the attention, plus the editor is romancing the big-city reporter assigned to cover the suspected serial killer.
And Moretz seems to be one step ahead of the other reporters, the police, and even the killer himself.
CRIME BEAT is a 21,000-word novella, the equivalent of about 110 book pages. Also contains the bonus story "Do You Know Me Yet?" from HEAD CASES.
By Scott Nicholson, a #1 Kindle bestselling author in Mystery & Suspense. Nicholson is author of Liquid Fear, Chronic Fear, Disintegration, The Skull Ring, The Red Church, and other crime, mystery, suspense, and paranormal thrillers. His mystery collections include Curtains and Head Cases, and with bestselling Kindle author J.R. Rain, he's published the urban fantasies Cursed!, Ghost College, Bad Blood, and The Vampire Club.
"This is one author that aims to kill and never misses.” – Jeremy Robinson, INSTINCT and THRESHOLD
"Buy everything he writes. He's the real deal." – Bentley Little, THE DISAPPEARANCE
"Always surprises and always entertains." – Jonathan Maberry, PATIENT ZERO
"Scott Nicholson's strong and vivid writing draws the reader deep into the story." – Vicki Tyley, THIN BLOOD
This novella packs a lot of punch for a short work. It'll keep you guessing all the way through. When a new reporter takes on the crime beat, a crime spree breaks out. Suspicions swirl as to the identity of the serial killer (dubbed the "Rebel Clipper" by the media), but Nicholson keeps the reader on their toes throughout this one. He definitely knows how to weave an interesting tale and he delivers yet again in this fun read. It was also really cool to get a glimpse into the world of a small-town newspaper!
Moretz was just the right amount of mysterious to peak my interst! I also loved the charachter of the slightly washed up editor and his take on the newspaper business. Nicholson is always so descriptive and his writing sucks you in. I finsihed this in one night as I just couldn't put it down.
I have read several books by scott nicholson and his writing never gets old. It amazes me that Scott is always able to surprise me with his endings!
A nice novella dealing with a unique solution to the decline in circulation for small, local newspapers. The author knows his way around the English language, and has more than one incident in which one fictional character corrects the grammar of another. Given the frequency of grammatical errors in most contemporary writing, this was refreshing and funny. I'm really glad to have encountered this author.
Scott Nicholson has written yet another great story, this one portraying the newspaper business and small town life he's so familiar with. His detailed descriptions help form a complete picture in the reader's head.
When a new crime reporter is hired, a string of crimes has him jumping right out of the gate. The author leads the reader to believe what the outcome will be, but then throws in a surprise twist at the end.
Well-written, well-formatted, Crime Beat was a pleasure to read.
Scott also throws in a bonus story "Do You Know Me Yet?" which kept me going in circles until I felt a bit dizzy.
These two stories together lead me to believe that all writers are a bit crazy ;)
This is a great short suspense novella. Scott brings suspense and mystery to the story in the way only he can. Keeps you going from the first paragraph to the last. I have read several of Scott's books and have enjoyed them all. Will definitely read more from him. Highly recommend author.
A swift, skillfully crafted read, in this former newspaper reporter's opinion. Author Scott Nicholson does a good job of leading readers in one direction and then pulling the rug out from under them with a surprising finale that, in retrospect, makes perfect sense. I would have enjoyed seeing the story more fleshed out in a longer novella or even a novel, with some deeper scene-setting and a more pronounced tone of black-comedic horror, as it seemed almost too swiftly paced. But it works as is ... I was hooked early and stayed hooked. And Nicholson does a good job of examining the pressures the modern-day small-town newspaper is under to keep from becoming a murder victim of the economic downturn -- and a suicide victim of the industry's own horrific missteps.
Does life imitate art, or art imitate life? Do journalists report news-are they "news-breakers," or "news-makers"? Is anything acceptable in the pursuit of sales and ratings? How far can we go before the ends no longer justify the methods employed?
Meet John Moretz, new hire for the Crime Beat at a barely maintaining newspaper in a small Appalachian community, where the scenery is gorgeous, and life is steady but seldom exciting. That was true-before Moretz appeared on the scene, but from almost the moment of his first day as the crime newshound, trouble explodes and the crime rate in the county increases astronomically. So does circulation, and so does his editor's opinion of Moretz-for a while. But all good things must come to an end-and editor Howard begins to notice some strange events in the arena of reporter Moretz; news that even law enforcement hasn't discovered, odd behavior, temperature drops-and Howard starts wondering if he'd really make the right choice which he selected Moretz over the several other applicants for the "Crime Beat."
Author Scott Nicholson weaves yet another enterprising page-turner, one with plenty of graphic, yet not gory detail, and a winner in his narrator, Howard, the newspaper's editor. In John Moretz he also creates quite an intriguing and charismatic character, gently persuading the reader to wonder "just how far will this reporter go in pursuit of a story?" "Crime Beat" is another not-to-be-missed Scott Nicholson novel-and will leave readers pondering each time they pick up a newspaper, or read an issue online!
This was an excellent story with the suspense and mystery building throughout. The main character, Moretz's editor who narrates the story, is well drawn. He's cynical yet has a great sense of humor. Other major characters including Moretz remain just enough of an enigma to keep you guessing. Nicholson's writing is excellent blending dialogue, action, and narrative in the right proportions to keep the story moving and the reader engaged.
Some of the minor characters, especially the police chief, lean toward being caricatures. This in itself is not necessarily that bad, but it leaves very few viable suspects. Despite this I was still kept wondering whodunit.
**Originally written for "Books and Pals" book blog.**
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I believe the writer only creates half the story, and that you complete it by bringing your imagination, experience, and heart to the tale. I am happy to share the journey with you.
I've written more than 20 novels, about 80 short stories, four children's books, some comic books, screenplays, and a couple of non-fiction books, as well as five collaborations with J.R. Rain. Many of my tales are based on supernatural legends from the Southern Appalachian Mountains, and I also write mystery and suspense thrillers that are most often compared to the work of Stephen King and Dean Koontz.
I've also published Liquid Fear and Chronic Fear with Amazon's Thomas & Mercer imprint and McFall with 47North, as well as a number of audiobooks and foreign translations. I love hearing from you, because you're the reason I do this, so let's connect! Learn more about my work at www.AuthorScottNicholson.com