Cover Image: As the Wicked Watch

As the Wicked Watch

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Member Reviews

As the Wicked Watch introduces an unconventional heroine, Jordan Manning. Jordan is an investigative reporter in Chicago that also has a degree in forensic science. When stories that she encounters hit too close to home and are often dismissed by the police, she tends to take it personally, but when a fifteen year old honor student, Masey James, is missing for three weeks and classified as a runaway despite not meeting any of the typical triggers for it, Jordan decides this particular young woman is not going to be overlooked. When Masey's remains are found, Jordan goes full steam ahead, especially when the police arrest three young boys for her murder, in complete contrast to the leads Jordan has been pursuing that hint that there's more to Masey than meets the eye and it could have lead to her death. The story moves at a breakneck pace which feels much in line with Jordan's job as a TV reporter, and keeps the reader engaged. I'm somewhat conflicted about Jordan as a character - it's hard not to admire her relentlessness and tenaciousness in pursuit of truth and justice - she also works hard and cares deeply about the important people in her life. She's also reckless, tends to get so wrapped up in pursuing something that she's thoughtless or dismissive, and there were points in the story that she was disclosing confidential information when she shouldn't have. But flawed characters make more interesting characters, right? The author could scale back the amount of detail she puts into describing irrelevant characters and scenes, but overall this is a great first effort from Hall.
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This thriller was a breath of fresh air for the genre and I am highly impressed.  Obviously Tamron Hall is well versed in the true crime arena and her knowledge made this possibly one of the best thrill rides of the year!  I am officially on team Jordan!
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The lack of police concern and media coverage on missing Black girls is an incredibly important topic that needs more attention. Hall takes her experience in journalism and her platform to shine a light on it and I applaud her for that. The premise of the storyline is great and I was definitely interested while reading the book. However the writing felt forced and formulaic.
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As The Wicked Watch is a solid mystery story told through the eyes of the reporter investigating it. Masey James, an African American teenager, goes missing in Chicago. Jordan Manning, the local African American reporter, gets emotionally invested in solving what happens as she knows that African American missing girl cases do not get the same attention as missing White girls. Jordan makes it her mission to solve Masey's story even if it puts Jordan herself in danger.
The story is socially and politically charged which is repeated numerous times throughout the story. This can cause it to seem slow and drawn out at times but the underlying mystery and the engaging characters are what keeping you reading through the slow parts.
I enjoyed the mystery and subsequent resolution of the book. I enjoyed seeing a story from a different perspective than my own.
Thanks to Netgalley, William Morrow and the Scene of the Crime Early Reads for the advanced copy of the book. The opinions are my own.
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::I received an ARC of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you for the opportunity to read your work!: 

This week I read #AsTheWickedWatch by #TamronHall . Yes. That Tamron Hall. And since this isn't a genre I read often, I wanted to make sure to support Hall because she's an amazing journalist and advocate for victims of violent crime. 

This book is about a Chicago crime reporter named Jordan who is passionate about her work. The book begins with her working a story about a young Black girl whois missing, but the police have classified as a runaway. Jordan struggles to keep her feelings in check as she conducts interviews, holds the police's feet to the fire, and chases down ledes.

Things I enjoyed: Jordan talking about how race affects her in the newsroom, and which stories she is allowed to cover. I also think Hall tried to touch on issues of gentrification and how Black victims are often brutalized, their stories sensationalized, and then they are forgotten. 

Not so great things: Man. I wanted to love this book. But this book needed a strong Structural and Developmental Edit. There was so much repetition and the main character would just start rambling about a memory in the middle of important plot moments. There was also so much telling, and not enough showing. 

I really believe this premise could flesh out into a great series, but I think Hall needs to find the right editors to help bring her stories to life.
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I love Tamron Hall's crime reporting on her ID Channel show, and she's been very open about her sister's murder and what a violent crime does to a family.  I had high hopes for this book, and for the most part, my expectations were met.

What I loved:  This story absolutely did not shy away from racism and how it exists in everything from the media reporting a crime to the detectives investigating it.  The story felt gritty, raw, and absolutely real.

What I didn't love:  There were several places in which the story felt bogged down by unnecessary commentary/dialogue.  I'm truly hoping there will be more installments in this series and our protagonist Jordan can truly find her voice.
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Thank you to the Publisher, Tamron Hall and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review

“I know from the many stories that I’ve covered that the wicked watch, and they strike when they think nobody’s looking…”

As the Wicked Watch is journalist Tamron Hall’s debut novel but you would never know it. Billed as the first in a new crime series featuring news reporter Jordan Manning, a young black female reporter who works for a Chicago TV station and is the reliable narrator of this novel. I am sure Tamron used her own background as a reporter in Chicago and then NY to write this story and it shows. As the reader, I felt like I was living vicariously through her early years as an investigative reporter and how it affected all aspects of her life.

We meet Jordan as she is investigating the disappearance of a young black girl, 16, who has disappeared in the Bronzeville neighborhood of Chicago. The girl, Masey James, is a straight-A student who loves her family and is very active in her church. Jordan has done what all journalists shouldn’t do and has formed a close bond with Masey’s mother, Pamela. As she begins to use her investigative tools to find out what happened to Masey, a body is found and the mystery becomes who was Masey James and why was she brutally and shockingly murdered?

While the book’s focus is primarily the murder, As the Wicked Watch is also a tutorial on racism and sexism in the journalistic world. Also, it focuses on the bias in black communities and how systemic racism affects the actions of both Policemen and journalists. Even Jordan, a black reporter, feels biased when a car driven by a black man follows her home and into her parking garage. She also recognizes that the color of her skin affects how she may be welcomed into a black community, whereas other reporters may seem suspicious.

There are some parts of Tamron Hall’s novel that may seem cumbrous. For example, her relationship with a photographer that seems to be off and on, however not explained why. Also, her friends with benefits with a gym trainer that she seems to not want to take further but welcomes his presence frequently throughout the book. But more confusing is the actual murder of Masey James. While her character has many facets beside the loving and deeply religious high schooler, we are not told “why” she was killed. There are hints towards it at the end but the reader is left wondering not who but why? As the Wicked Watch can be described as “unputdownable.” Though after putting it down, I still wanted more!
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This was a solid book and a solid beginning to a new series. The author included a lot of important social commentary about race, but it was done in a way that was a bit awkward and almost clumsy in that it abruptly removes the reader from the story and then just as abruptly plunks the reader back down into the plot instead of weaving the plot and the social commentary together. Aside from that aspect and having some issues with the story’s pacing, this is a book that had some teeth to it, and I’m excited to see where future books lead.
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DNF. This book was too slow and didn't have enough forward plot development. It was too detailed in some parts.
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I've been a fan of Tamron Hall for years, so I was excited to see she had a book out. Though I love the genre and the crime reporter angle, this one didn't quite hit the mark for me. There was a lot of overdetailing and unnecessary commentary, too much rambling, that stalled the plot on many occasions. There were also inconsistencies. It could've benefited from a tighter edit. The author did shed a light to the unsolved crimes in the inner city of Chicago. I found Jordan to be a likeable lead, which isn't always the case with those in her profession (reporter). I loved her determination to give a voice to Masey (the victim). I also liked the fact that the author provided behind-the-scenes glimpses into the inner working of the media and journalism.
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Thank you for my early review copy.  I thoroughly enjoyed this book.  I believe this book will be a huge bestseller.
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Big fan of Tamron Hall as a newscaster, tv anchor, talk show host and now as an author.  The novels backdrop is Chicago where Hall lived while a local reporter and her love for the city sines through. A quick, easy to read mystery. Well written and will appeal to her fans and new readers alike.
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Had high hopes for this one!! I love thrillers with crime reporters are the main POV, but for some reason this fell short for me. The story was compelling,  but there was SO MUCH unnecessary commentary that really drug this story into the mud. I think it could have easily been 200 pages less and still semi-impactful. I'd read more by this author if it were more succinct and to the point. I really enjoy the different POV from someone outside of the police department,  but there wasn't enough meat to the plot and WAY too much other commentary.
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Jordan Manning is a reporter for one of Chicago’s top newsrooms. Determined to keep her position on the investigative crime beat she puts all she has into her reports. When a Black girl goes missing and is written off as a runaway, she wonders if the color of the victims’ skin makes her seem less important. As the story unfolds, Jordan will stop at nothing to expose the truth. She just hopes she can complete the task, as the closer she gets to the answers, the more danger she finds. 

Tamron Hall takes the reader behind the scenes of an investigative reporter in her book "As the Wicked Watch". Stressing how a news broadcast is a quick glimpse of the whole story, she expresses the daunting tasks of a journalist. Yet, she also ensures it is all worth it in the end. 

However, between the slow-moving plot, inconsistencies between characters and locations, as well as the influx of profanity, this novel was a struggle to finish. The mystery and thrill seemed to be lost with an abundance of unnecessary rambling. Therefore, a rating of 3 out of 5 stars is awarded.

None the less, this a good read for someone wanting a front row seat into the world of journalism. 

Thank you to #NetGalley, #SceneOfTheCrime, and #WilliamMorrow for the free advanced reading copy in exchange for my honest review.
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This debut mystery novel featuring a Black television reporter with a forensic education set in 2007 Chicago was well-paced and entertaining. Comments on what it's like to be a Black woman (or any woman or Person of Color) in journalism were frequent and pointed. I would certainly read another mystery featuring Jordan Manning.
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Jordan Manning is a force of nature... and Tamron Hall has a hit series on her hands! There's a lot of back story, relationships, and character in this book - each word carefully chosen, and the story specifically told. Set in Chicago, Ms. Hall stays true to the neighborhoods, residents, and yes, even the politicians! It's a fantastic mystery that will resonate strongly with readers. I'm looking forward to the next Jordan Manning adventure.
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A reporter, an on air personality, is determined to find out who murdered a teenage African American girl.  She was a likeable heroine, but the book was trying to do too many things and at times it felt like it was educating people about racism and sexism in a way that took from the story.  Meaning the same issues could be shown, felt vs giving an education.  It also suffered from having too many characters and some with similar names, and too many details, which both got confusing and made the book feel too slow.  Overall it was a decent read but could have been a lot more powerful
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After a quick review, this is exactly the sort of story we want to put into our readers' hands.  Thank you for the ARC!
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An outstanding debut by the author Tamron Hall. It’s always been said the guilty watch closely around the crime scene, so the title fits As the Wicked Watch. 

The book shapes into unethical police work to solve a crime in the underprivileged, inner city Chicago. When a young black woman Masey James is found brutally raped, murdered and partially burned in an abandoned park, the town chooses sides. Political activists and the local community members rallied and warned police the park was in need of repair to evade crime while the police are in search for quick answers and arrest young middle school students for the crime. 

Jordan Manning, a young black, female reporter searches for the truth while losing the police chief’s trust as she disgruntles their satisfaction of their catch. She is attacked as she closes in to the real killer. Gathering trust and Justice for the family does not come easily as she weaves in and out of shady neighborhoods sending deep messages in honor of those living the bias and portrayal due to their color, living facilities and income. 

A different light is shed on the premises of this mystery thriller. Mixed messages and the hunt for the truth are scattered throughout revealing a need for change in journalism and the people great and small …justice is justice. 
Thank you NetGalley for this ARC in exchange for my honest review
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I approached this book warily, but not due to concerns about things that go bump in the night. Contemporary reality is far more disturbing than anything fiction can cook up. Thus I was glad to discover that this was more of a murder mystery than a ghost story. And it's excellent, too. 

I was pretty excited when I was approved to read As The Wicked Watch, prior to its release date and I was blown away but the character development and felt as though I knew them all personally . The chapter were fluid and made reading even more captivating . The conclusion is one you won’t see coming . I highly recommend
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