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When Day Breaks (Key News Thrillers) Hardcover – June 5, 2007

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Bestseller Clark, a CBS News writer and producer for many years, does only a superficial job of portraying the behind-the-scenes backstabbing and intrigue at a major network in this first of a new series, a sequel of sorts to her KEY News thrillers (Lights Out Tonight, etc.). When Constance Young, a Katie Couric–like mega–news star, is found dead in her pool, New York evening news anchor Eliza Blake, producer Annabelle Murphy and cameraman B.J. D'Elia join forces with psychiatrist Margo Gonzalez to investigate. Young died on the eve of her debut as morning host on a rival network, and her selfish, abrasive personality made her many enemies, ranging from her former boss to a nerdy millionaire who stole a rare Arthurian ivory figurine in an effort to win her heart. Others have evoked this world more convincingly, notably the late Bill DeAndrea in his Matt Cobb series, and the sleuths miss an obvious clue that any six-year-old could have figured out, as one character concedes at the end.
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From Booklist

Just as Constance Young was set to make the leap from the KEY network's national morning show to their competition, she is found dead at the bottom of her pool. Suspects abound: her sister, Faith, a stay-at-home mom who was caring for their ailing mother without much help from the very wealthy Constance; Boyd, her assistant at KEY who was the whipping boy for many degrading requests; Stuart, the spurned boyfriend who risked everything to treat Constance as his queen; Linus, the head of KEY News, who had molded Constance into the cheery morning host adored by millions, only to be betrayed by her leaving; Annabelle and D. J., her producer and cameraman, who put up with countless complaints about everything they did; Lauren, the new girl in town set to take over for Constance; and even Eliza, the beloved doyenne of the network, who had no tolerance for Constance's prima donna posturing. Clark knows this territory well, both as a best-selling author of formulaic but always readable mysteries and as a writer and producer for CBS News. For fans of light mysteries, the combination of network-news melodrama and a frothy whodunit plot should prove irresistible. Wilkens, Mary Frances
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Product Details

  • Series: Key News Thrillers
  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: William Morrow; 1 edition (June 5, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0739484710
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061286070
  • ASIN: 0061286079
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.1 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (39 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,167,148 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Mary Jane Clark is the New York Times bestselling author of fourteen novels: 12 KEY News media thrillers and 2 Piper Donovan/Wedding Cake Mysteries. A former writer and producer at CBS News in New York City, Clark is the daughter of an FBI agent and mother of two. She lives in Florida and New Jersey.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Valerie Matteson VINE VOICE on August 29, 2007
Format: Hardcover
This is an exciting suspense thriller in Mary Jane Clark's series of books set in the "KEY TV" network world. There is "KEY to America," a morning show, and "KEY Evening Headlines," a nightly news show just for starters and the competition is fierce. The events happen over a week's time span in May.

The story opens in a Manhattan animal shelter where an unknown person is intent on getting a dog, a large dog that is roughly 112 pounds. The attendant there convinces the stranger to take a Great Dane named Marco who was well-trained by his previous owner who had to move and couldn't take him with him. The new owner takes the dog far out in the country to Constance Young's get-away country home and convinces the dog to play fetch with a rubber ball and, as the dog gets muddy, throws a ball in the pool so the dog follows it. As Marco is swimming in the pool he sees something big and shiny thrown in the pool by his new owner. It is a toaster connected by an orange outdoor cord and the dog dies. This is a very scary prologue to the mystery and murder that is about to start and gives us insight into the murderer's character. This killer not only hates enough to kill a lovely dog that never hurt anyone but is also ready to take a human being's life, as well.

Constance Young took over the show "KEY to America" after Eliza Blake went to anchor "KEY Evening Headlines." Constance became the "undisputed star of morning television" and was now quitting "KEY to America" and moving to the competition. At KEY News, co-workers and bosses alike have mixed feelings about Constance's new job as it either makes their job easier or much harder. Her replacement at "KEY to America" is going to be a young woman who is friend/lover to the producer.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By E. McDonald on February 18, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
I have enjoyed other books by this author. I began to read this book and realized that I had actually started it years ago and quickly returned it. How disgusting! The killer throws a dog from the pound into a pool and electrocutes it. What is the need for such a vile act? The author could have created excitement in other ways which wouldn't have made enemies out of fans.
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Format: Kindle Edition
I have to be honest, I wasn't outraged at the dog killing in the beginning. It's a mystery novel and the beginning usually sets up the rest of the story so I wasn't expecting sunshine or anything. It wasn't graphic at least. I give it 2 stars because it takes a lot to hate a story but I sure wasn't interested in it by the time I finished.

The rest of the story though was just blah. The characters weren't developed at all, everyone was just superficial and I was disappointed that instead of developing a unique personality for the lead female protaganist, Eliza Blake, the whole backstory just seemed to be that of Katie Couric. It's just lazy writing on that point.

The rest of the novel proceeded in the same fashion. No real clues were discovered by the slueths, no real work was done, they just lucked on to the solution at the end. Lazy writing again. The whole "plot" seemed to be designed to be a thinly written background on how daily news programs are run. Not what I picked up the book to read and not something I am interested in. Won't be reading another by this author.
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By SchneiderMommy on May 28, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
Constance Young decides to leave her current job to work for another network. It's possible that many of her loyal viewers would follow her to her new station and somebody is not about to let that happen. Constance is found dead in the bottom of her swimming pool and Eliza Blake, an anchor woman, is determined to uncover the truth behind Constance's murder. She may be the next victim.

I purchased this book thinking it was by Mary Higgins Clark, *I was tricked* who I am a huge fan of. When I got home I realized that it wasn't but I am actually glad I did because I really enjoyed it. The list of suspects just becomes bigger and bigger and I was actually surprised to find out who the murderer was. I like when a story keeps me guessing and this one did just that. If you are a fan of mystery/suspense then you should give this one a shot. I will be looking for more by this author in the future.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By E. Bukowsky HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on July 10, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Mary Jane Clark's "When Day Breaks" deals with the dog-eat-dog nature of television news broadcasting. Eliza Blake left her post as anchor of the popular morning show, "Key to America," to take over the top spot at "Key Evening Headlines." Eliza's former colleague, Constance Young, is a prima donna who treats her underlings with contempt. She is about to jump ship from her job anchoring "Key to America" to host a morning news show on another network. Although none of her co-workers will miss her, staffers fear that Constance will siphon off viewers from "Key to America," which may lead to a plunge in their all-important ratings.

They needn't have worried. An unknown perpetrator kills Constance before she has a chance to make her career move, and there are enough suspects to fill a telephone book. Executive producer Linus Nazareth, cameraman B. J. D'Elia, and producer Annabelle Murphy all have motives for murder. Other suspects are spurned suitor, Stuart Whitaker, and Faith Hansen, Constance's jealous and resentful sister. Faith is stuck at home nursing their bedridden mother, and she has no support system to make her life bearable. Although Faith has asked Constance for help, the busy television star is far too self-absorbed to be bothered with a sick parent. Boyd Irons, Constance's assistant, resents being treated like a lackey by his imperious shrew of a boss.

"When Day Breaks" is a typical Mary Jane Clark novel, with its short chapters, unadorned writing style, host of red herrings, and spunky female heroine struggling to cope with her hectic life as a news anchor and single mom. Clark's insider look at television news broadcasting is authentic and there are nice bits of background information on the beautiful Cloisters museum, which figures prominently in the story.
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