Friday, February 22, 2013

Book Review: Riding Gain by Joyce Krieg (Talk Radio Mysteries #3)

Stars: 5 out of 5
Pros: Good story and characters again
Cons: Unfortunately, final book in series
The Bottom Line:
More twists in the plot
Main character that I love
Wish there were more books

Talk Radio Kills One Last Time

Shauna J. Bogart is back for her third talk radio mystery with Riding Gain. Once again, the airwaves of Sacramento are in for a wild ride.

Shauna is running just a little late for her afternoon talk show that day. She was stuck in traffic returning late from a semi-business lunch. Fortunately, her intern/producer Josh was able to stall the first caller so no one knows.

That first caller is a bit of a mystery. Refusing to give his real name, he makes comments about Shauna's past that only one other person knows. The trouble is, that one person is in jail.

The big news of the day comes in the final hour of Shauna's show, however. That's when the radio station's news reporter, Glory Lou, announces there's been a murder. The victim is Travis Ikeda-Nyland. Not only is he the son of one of the station's biggest sponsors, he was also Shauna's intern a year and a half ago. The police do have a suspect in the case, the young man who jumped off the American River Bridge after tying up traffic and is now in a coma.

The suspect's grandma can't believe her grandson did it, and comes to Shauna for help. Ironically enough, Travis' mom isn't buying it either, and promises the station there will be no loss of revenue if Shauna continues to investigate.

The trail soon leads to Travis' efforts to recover from alcohol. He's been through treatment twice. The police are convinced that the murder was a drug deal gone bad, but everyone who knows Travis says he was clean. Had he fallen off the wagon?

Meanwhile, Shauna is facing a career crisis as well. She's been offered a job as a DJ for an oldies network. The pay would be wonderful and boyfriend Pete doesn't seem to mind the move. Plus station owner T.R. O'Brien has sold the last half hour of Shauna's show three days a week to a psychic, frustrating Shauna and making the offer even more tempting. So why can't she tell her boss she's leaving?

Joyce Krieg continues to entertain in the third talk radio mystery. Her plots are always top notch, and this one is no exception. It twists several different directions before reaching the logical conclusion. Plus the clues usually don't make sense initially.

The secondary series characters take a bit of a back seat this go around and we really don't get to know them better although they are still quite likable and very well developed. Even if their appearances were smaller then I would have liked, they are still distinct people. Shauna herself has taken up flying this go around, a hobby I hope continues through to the next book.

The beginning seemed a bit rough with several short scenes and abrupt scene changes. Once the story gets going, the scenes become longer and the plot and sub-plots begin to weave together better.

For whatever reason, Riding Gain was the final book in the series.  But the entire series is worth tracking down because they really were that good.

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