Cora Baxter is back – and this time, she’s facing the most important deadline of her career…
When TV reporter Cora Baxter attends the scene of a murder in a London park, she’s horrified to discover the victim is someone she knows – and devastated when one of her best friends is charged with the crime. Suddenly the fun-filled life of Cora and her eccentric camera crew takes a darker turn. Cora is convinced that her friend is innocent, but with seemingly solid evidence, the police investigation team – reluctantly led by Cora’s boyfriend DCI Adam Bradberry – believe the case is closed. With a trail of clues that leads all the way to New York, can Cora find out the truth before the trial begins – or is it already too late?
The Deadline is the second in the hugely popular Cora Baxter Mysteries series by acclaimed broadcaster Jackie Kabler.
Today, as well as my review, I have an excerpt from The Deadline and a giveaway to treat you with!! So lets get started with a little sneak peak into the world of Cora Baxter…
Monday 6th May
‘You stuck your what to your WHAT?’ Incredulity in her voice, senior producer Samantha Tindall stared at Cora Baxter, who had her jacket on, ready to leave the newsroom after her early morning shift in the studio.
‘Errr … my finger. To my handbag.’ Cora looked sheepish.
Sam plonked herself down in her chair and ran her fingers through her wavy, caramel-coloured bob, a frown creasing her pretty face.
‘OK, you’re going to have to explain further. You left the studio between the seven thirty and eight o’clock bulletins and, instead of grabbing a cup of tea and a makeup touch-up like you normally do, you … you glued your finger to your own handbag?’
Cora sat down too. ‘Yes, Sam, I did. Accidentally, obviously. That’s why I had to keep my right hand out of shot during the eight o’clock news. Because it had a handbag dangling from it. It was quite uncomfortable, as you can imagine …’
‘Yes, I bloody well can imagine!’ Sam exploded, her exasperation making her sound even more Scottish than usual. ‘But why? How? What on earth were you doing?’
She sounded infuriated, but a grin was creeping across her face. There were sniggers coming from nearby desks now too, as researchers and producers within earshot took a break from working on tomorrow’s Morning Live show to enjoy the bizarre conversation between their senior producer and newsreader. Cora grinned too, relieved that Sam was seeing the funny side – that wasn’t always the case when it came to Cora’s occasional on-air blunders. At work, the breakfast show producer was technically above her in the pecking order, but outside work they were the closest of friends, and it seemed that Sam was in a lenient mood today.
‘I was trying to repair my earring. A stone fell out of it when I was putting it on this morning, and I had some of that super-strong glue in my drawer. It fixed the earring brilliantly, but I must have got a bit on my hand without noticing because when I picked up my bag, well …’ She rubbed ruefully at a red mark on her finger.
‘Got it off then, I see.’ Sam rolled her eyes.
‘Yeah. Sherry in make-up had some solvent stuff. All is well. Sorry.’
‘You’re such a numpty. Don’t worry, I don’t think anyone at home would have noticed. Don’t think Betsy did either, so I reckon you’re safe.’
Cora’s pale green eyes followed Sam’s towards the glass-walled corner office at the end of the long newsroom, but the door was closed and the blinds down. ‘Phew.’ Cora smiled. She got on well with Betsy, their relatively new boss, but she was even more passionate than Sam was about the show being perfect – a newsreader going on air with a bag glued to her hand might not go down terribly well.
Here’s what I thought…
TV presenter Cora Baxter is faced with the toughest deadline of her career, when one of her friends is arrested for murder. Believing that her friend is innocent Cora and her crew must find the perpetrator before the case goes to trial. With the evidence stacked against them can they get to the truth before it’s too late?
The Deadline is the second book in the Cora Baxter series, which I actually didn’t realise at first. Luckily for me you don’t have to read the first book to be able to read the second. Everything is well explained and whilst there is a reference to what happened in the first book, I don’t feel like I missed out on anything in this story due to not having read it.
I think what sets this book apart for me is that it has a brilliant balance between humour and drama. I went into it thinking that it would be quite serious given that it is a crime/mystery but I was pleasantly surprised that it had many light-hearted moments. There are lots of funny situations that Cora and some of the others find themselves in and I think having these moments works really well because it reflects everyday life.
I think the author has definitely used her experiences in TV and journalism to her full advantage here; she manages to create an exceptionally realistic setting which certainly helps to pull you into the story. There were perhaps points in the story where I personally thought the dialogue felt a bit forced, however I really enjoyed the camaraderie between Cora and the other characters.
Overall what really stands out in this book is the author’s ability to keep you guessing. The plot is so well thought out; there were some red herrings and on plenty occasions I thought I had it sussed, only to find I’d got it completely wrong a few pages later.
This is a very entertaining read and it manages to surprise you right until the end.
So now that you’ve read the excerpt and my review I’m sure you’ll be looking forward to this giveaway. It is open internationally from today until the 6th of November, just click on the link to win…
When your Monday morning begins with a dead dog at four a.m. and a dead boss by ten, you know it’s going to be one of those days. And breakfast TV reporter Cora Baxter has already had the weekend from hell, after the man she was planning a fabulous future with unceremoniously dumped her.
Now Cora’s much-hated boss has been murdered, and Cora is assigned to cover the story for the breakfast show – but as the murder enquiry continues, the trail of suspects leads frighteningly close to home. Why is Cora’s arch-rival, glamorous, bitchy newsreader Alice Lomas, so devastated by their boss’s death? What dark secret is one of her camera crew hiding? And why has her now ex-boyfriend vanished? The race to stop the killer striking again is on …
Jackie Kabler worked as a newspaper reporter and then in television news for twenty years, including nearly a decade on GMTV. She later appeared on BBC and ITV News, presented a property show for Sky, hosted sports programmes on Setanta Sports News and worked as a media trainer for the Armed Forces. She is now a presenter on shopping channel QVC and has a three-book deal with Accent Press for her Cora Baxter Mysteries, a series of murder mysteries set in a television newsroom.