What goes on behind the news is
the news in Bill O'Reilly's first novel, Those Who Trespass: A Novel of Murder and Television.
The engaging thriller centers around a string of murders being carried out in almost ritualistic fashion against the major players of Global News Network (GNN) and miscellaneous others involved in the television news industry. First it's a loutish White House correspondent who gets it with a silver spoon in Martha's Vineyard. Next comes a vice president of the network. As the list grows, so does the pressure on police to stop the killer before he strikes again. Enter Tommy O'Malley, a touch New York detective who has his own ideas about how to keep the streets clean. His work--and life--is complicated by the persistence of a charming young reporter named Ashley Van Buren. In her "Crimetime" column, she dishes a full serving of innuendo and speculation to an audience hungry for just such fare. O'Malley looks like a terrific source to her, and he has to admit she looks pretty good herself.
The real story in Those Who Trespass, however, is that "the way it is," as Walter Cronkite would have said, is not a very nice way at all. O'Reilly, a veteran of Fox and an Emmy winner himself, reveals the skullduggery that goes on under the anchor desk and on the other side of the camera: correspondents "bigfooting" others' stories, young climbers doing anything to secure the anchor seat, and ratings outfits fixing the game to suit themselves. Once you've read this, you will understand the part of the news that's not fit to print.
O'Reilly's first novel tells a story of revenge and murder set against the backdrop of television news. The opening chapters detail the corrupt, often despicable world of the networks, where pretty faces from New York conspire to appropriate the work of those on the front lines. When two of the smarmiest conspirators wind up dead, the list of suspects is as long as the number of people the networks have screwed along the way--hundreds. On the case is Detective Tommy O'Malley, along with aggressive journalist Ashley Van Buren. Against his better judgment, Tommy falls for Ashley and becomes the spunky young writer's informant. But Ashley's feelings are mixed, for she is also smitten with charming Shannon Michaels, who happens to be at the top of Tommy's list of suspects. Although stereotypical secondary characters are a drawback, the novel is nicely paced, and the network milieu works well as a setting for murder. Mary Frances Wilkens