Cover Image: It's News to Me

It's News to Me

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Member Reviews

I think that this book flew under the radar but it is deserving of attention for those who enjoy mystery and suspense stories. The protagonist is a reporter who endeavors to serve journalism well-a perfect message for our times.

This is the fifth story to feature Clare and what a story she has to cover. Seemingly perfect and ambitious, a college student, Riley, has been murdered. A war vet is suspected but there are others who ought to be including the men in whom Riley was interested. They are a police official and a man with ties to the underworld.

Will Riley get to file her story? Will the case be solved? I recommend reading this title to find out.

Many thanks to NetGalley and Oceanview Publishing for this title. All opinions are my own.
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It's News to Me by R G Belsky is the fifth in the Clare Carlson mysteries, an investigative journalist fiction series. Clare’s boss is fired and she faces an new, controversial, and cantankerous new woman determined to achieve high ratings on their TV news program whatever the cost. Her goal is within sight when young Riley Hunt, the “perfect” college student, is found murdered near campus. Clare must investigate the real story, not just the one her boss chooses to promote her “Take New York Back” program to foment fear in the city. Clare becomes convinced that the story is more than just a simple murder case and investigates further, bringing her deeper into conflict with not only her boss, but a mob boss and the police commissioner. 

Clare Carlson is a credible journalist, funny, feisty, and determined. The dialogue is excellent with multiple great retorts. There are twists and turns, some I could anticipate and others not, in this complex story. I will check out the earlier four books in this series, my ultimate compliment.
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I didn't know what to expect from R. G. Belsky's IT'S NEWS TO ME other than there was a newsperson encountering a real-life thriller rather than made-for-impact story. What I got was a tightly-structured, involving, and entirely realistic view of a working woman doing her best to thrive and survive a brutal work environment and moments of confusion, doubt, triumph, and resolution. While the opening pages were rough, I was drawn through the rest, not knowing what was coming next, but enjoying the ride. I received a copy of this book and these opinions are my own, unbiased thoughts.
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4 Surprising Stars
* * * * Spoiler Free-A Quick Review
This was my first book by R.G. Belsky but will not be my last. I started this without any of the backstories of the main character and never felt lost. 

This tale was timed perfectly for today's times as we are blasted day by day by ratings-aggressive news broadcasts. The need for viewers and how the stories are pushed are covered perfectly here. The plus was a strong plot and lots of twists.
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I received a complimentary electronic copy of "It's News to Me" from publisher OceanView and author R. G. Belsky. Thank you all for sharing your hard work with me. I have read this novel of my own volition, and this review reflects my honest opinion of this work.   I am pleased to add R. G. Belsky to my favorite authors and recommend his work to friends and family.  He writes a fast-paced tale with personable characters. He brings us from the newspaper age to today's method of keeping track of the world on electronic media without that angst we Baby Boomers often feel when our way of life fades away beneath our feet.  

And Clare Carlson, former NYC newspaperman and current 5:00 news anchor for Channel 10, makes the transition easy for us to bear. For me the transition was easy - I can follow up on anything that interests me instantly where ever my phone and I happen to be sitting.  My husband needs to have the paper spread out across his lap in his recliner before he feels like he is in touch with the universe. 

In "It's News to Me", the fifth in a series but stand-alone, we follow the investigation of the wee morning hours murder of a lovely, smart, blonde student, Ohioian Riley Hunt.  Riley is killed in Washington Square Park just yards from the campus of Easton College where she is a sophomore. The easy way of solving the crime would be to blame the homeless, PTSD-suffering Afghan veteran who calls Washington Square Park home.  But Clare doesn't like taking the easy way.  She will keep on till she finds a way that fits the facts. 

Belsky takes us all over New York City, to fine eateries and street food carts, bars and nightclubs, and many many city parks.  And Clare works her way, steady and sure, through the ins and outs of police business and news reporter business until she can unwind the thread that will tie her murderer to Riley's death. This is a very good read.  It is a series I will want to read in full.
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In It's News To Me, the fifth book in the Clare Carlson Mystery Series, author R.G. Belsky weaves a riveting mystery tale that easily draws the reader into New York Channel 10 News Director Clare Carlson's latest investigation.

The story revolves around the brutal murder of twenty year old Easton College student Riley Hunt. Riley was from Ohio and moved to New York City to attend college. She was majoring in political science, and was considered a golden girl who was loved by everyone, and had a bright political future ahead of her. Riley was found badly beaten to death in the early morning by a jogger near the entrance to Washington Square Park, a short distance from her dorm. The police consider Riley's murder a random attack, and when Donnie Ray Bakely, a homeless Army veteran was arrested for Riley's murder, Clare takes the lead as the on-air reporter covering the sensational crime story for Channel 10 News. 

As Clare delves into the investigation of Riley Hunt's murder, she finds that there are more questions than answers, a growing list of suspects, dark pasts, and deeply buried secrets, so she has to dig deep into Riley's life to put the puzzle pieces together. And if that isn't enough, Clare's investigation leads her into some pretty dangerous situations involving corrupt police and the mob, and they will do anything to keep the truth of Riley's murder from being revealed. 

It's News To Me is a captivating mystery tale that is rich in detail and vivid descriptions. It has enough intriguing and suspenseful twists and turns that leaves the reader with no other option than to keep turning the pages to find out what happens next. As a diehard fan of mystery tales, I must admit that this fifth installment in the series is my favorite. The complexity and multi-layers of Riley's story, and Clare's investigation kept me thoroughly riveted and so engrossed, I couldn't help but try and guess the outcome as Clare puts all the pieces of the puzzle together.

With a complex and realistic cast of characters, the author does a phenomenal job of transporting the reader into this fast-paced white-knuckle storyline. The thrilling cat-n-mouse game engages the reader to follow Clare's investigation as she tries to find out who really murdered Riley Hunt. The jaw-dropping surprise ending will leave the reader completely speechless. It just doesn't get any better than this!

I would be remiss if I didn't mention how much I loved the author's richly vivid description of New York City. The author captured the famous landmarks and all the sights and sounds of the city that never sleeps, all the reader has to do is close their eyes and be transported to my favorite city. 

It's News To Me is one heck of an adrenaline rush that is a must-read for the true diehard mystery junkies!

Disclaimer: I received a copy of the book from the author/publisher via NetGalley in exchange for my honest book review and participation in a virtual book tour event hosted by Partners In Crime Tours.
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Thank you NetGalley and Oceanview Publishing for the copy of It’s News To Me. The story was great and really kept me guessing. I loved the insider look into the TV news business and how Clare went to great lengths to protect her coworkers, even the ones she didn't like. Clare’s constant wisecracks were annoying and often came off as inappropriate for her character. To be fair, this is the first book I have read in this series, so if I had read the previous six books I might have gotten used to it. 
3.5 stars rounded up to 4.
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It's News to Me is the fifth book in the Clare Carlson series by R.G. Belsky, this was a new author for me which I am always looking for. When Riley Hunt a beautiful college student is murdered, Clare begins the search as a reporter too find out all she can about this young woman. She makes some interesting discoveries, that even at the time the police don't seem to know about. She begins to dig into Riley's background, and boom all of a sudden the police arrest and convict someone for the murder. Never one to give up on her gut instincts Clare continues in the background to work on finding out what happened to Riley. At every turn, things seem to work against her. This storyline is filled with lots of twists and turns to keep everyone turning the page. I would recommend it to others.

I received an ARC from NetGalley and Oceanview Publishing a free copy, in exchange for my honest review.
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I had never read Belsky's work before but was pleasantly surprised that this is the 5th in a series but can certainly be read as a stand-alone! Clare is a star newscaster but when friend, Jack is demoted, she is unsure of the new gal who is replacing him. But she's hot on a story about Riley, a young college student who was beaten to death close to her dorm in the middle of the night. There were no witnesses, no real clues, and her cell phone and laptop are missing. But Clare is relentless and interviews anyone who could possibly be involved. Alternating this story with her often-unfulfilling personal life, Belsky dives into a maelstrom of possible suspects, red herrings, and  mob connections. This is a wild ride that kept me reading until the bitter end! And I look forward to reading more about Clare!
Thanks to NetGalley for this ARC!
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I really enjoy reading Mr. Belsky's stories. They are fast-paced, cover a whole lot of information, their characters are well-developed and they have panache. How many stories have become huge front-page issues because a journalist would not stop chasing and researching a lead? This is what happens in It's News to Me, a relentless journalist, a crime everyone wants to put behind, a whole network of people that will be affected if the story comes to light. Great plot, good characters, and great entertainment!
I thank Mr. Belski, his publisher, and NetGalley for the free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.
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It’s News to Me by R.G Belsky
This is an exciting crime thriller. Who killed a young student? Everything points to a violent Afghan war veteran with a violent past .However TV newswoman Clare Carlson begins to have her doubts.
There is another strand to this story, about a high class dating agency. More lives are in danger including Clare’s before the truth is revealed.
This is a well told novel and the author is one to look out for.
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I thought this one was a pretty good read. 
A girl with everything going for her is brutally beaten to death. 
Clare, a news reporter is on the case. While her new boss is focused on ratings she knows this story has to be a home run. As she digs deep, her unofficial detective work may just find
her in danger as well.
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I wanted to like this book so much, but it wasn't there for me.  I wasn't able to form a connection to Claire and she actually really bothered me! The little sidebars of "disliking someone for wearing their glasses on the top of their head" or the co-workers comment about her weight and the random facts about her personal life (dating and what her friends think of her) really left me with a dissatisfied feeling about Claire and the book in general. It was hard to get into the plot and ended up stopping this book about 22% of the way through; there wasn't enough to keep me invested to find out what happened to Riley. Even though I haven't read any previous book, and It's News to Me was the 5th in the series, it didn't feel like a major set back or deterrent. I'm sure some nuances went above my head, but from what I did read, I was able to follow and it didn't seem like I was missing out on a lot not having read the other books first.
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When Riley Hunt, a beautiful, talented, philanthropic college student is murdered just feet from her dorm, Clare Carlson knows she needs to do everything she can to get the big story and solve the case- even if it puts her own life at stake. 

This was the fifth book in the Clare Carlson series, but the first one I read from the series and this author. It is also the first book I have read in this investigative Fiction subgenre. I must say, I was a fan of this! I really liked the pacing and the build of the twists and answers.  I thought Clare was a very realistic character who knew to trust her instinct, but was also self aware to know she was not always right. I did think the story was a bit farfetched, but it didn't make me like it any less. I would definitely go back and read the others in this series. 

Thank you Netgalley for this arc in exchange for my honest review.
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This is the first book I have read in the Clare Carlson series but I was excited to read a book about television news.   Having spent many years working in local TV news, I found the newsroom atmosphere right on. The stress and the need to be first definitely took me back to the grind of putting out daily newscasts.

Clare Carlson is a go-getter and always wants the "big" story, probably easier in NY than in many smaller towns. She's all in when a young, beautiful, popular, college student in killed on her way back to her dorm. Clare is unconvinced when the police arrest a homeless Vet for the murder so she continues to investigate. There are a number of people who were a part of the young coed's life who the police don't seen very interested in.

Clare gets help wherever she can, she has an ex-husband who's a cop, another man who she dated who could also be helpful. She is also dealing with a new boss at the station whose only concern is the ratings and who wants Clare to shake up the on-air talent with some firings.

There is also a new man in her life who she bounces all her ideas off of.  And her best friend who helps keep her sane.

Some of the twists kind of came out of no where and some were at least partially predictable. I really enjoyed the book more for the TV angle than for the thriller part. But again, after spending 20 years in the news biz, that is what draws my attention.

Thanks to NetGalley for the ARC in exchange for this honest review.
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I am a big fan of Belsky’s work under the pen name Dana Perry, so when I was made aware of this book, I was excited to jump into it. While this is a part of a series and the 5th instalment, I had no trouble following along and will most definitely be going back to read the others. If they are as great as this one, I am in for a real treat!

Belsky has created a thrilling whodunnit that had me glued to my Kindle unable to tear myself away. I do love a story that sees characters other than the police solving a crime and this one fits that bill perfectly. The case itself is very intriguing and I enjoyed how it all unfolded.

Clare is a wonderful and strong character that I immediately had a connection with. She is formidable, feisty, pushes boundaries and doesn’t back down on her gut instincts which I really liked.

All round It’s News to Me is a well written and executed piece of work that will be part of my best reads for the year! I absolutely loved it and I can’t wait to read more! 5 stars all the way!

Thank you to R.G. Belsky, Oceanview Publishing and NetGalley for allowing me to read an advanced copy of It’s News to Me, which I have reviewed honestly and voluntarily.
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It's News to Me is the 5th book in R.G.Belsky's Clare Carlson series. As with the other books in the series, this one stands very well on its own.

Clare Carlson is a TV news journalist in NYC who is scrappy, irreverent, sarcastic, and focused on the truth wherever it may lead and despite any obstacles in her way. Clare has been promoted to news director at her station, and also has a new boss who is focused solely on ratings no matter what she has to do to obtain them or who she has to fire.

When college sophmore Riley Hunt is gruesomely murdered steps away from her dormitory, Clare becomes both the face of the story on the news as well as the investigative force behind the camera. On the surface, Riley Hunt is a sweet girl who came to Easton College in NYC from Dayton, Ohio. Why would Riley would be so brutally murdered when everyone seems to like her? As Clare discovers, Riley had a lot going on in her life along with complex and seemingly contradictory relationships. It isn't long before suspects begin to pile up.

Engaged to Bruce Townsend, the son of deputy NYPD Commissioner Hugh Townsend, Riley also has a relationship with Johnny Steffano, the son of Anthony Steffano, one of the top crime bosses in the city. She's the singer in a popular local band Fallen Sky, a band whose guitarist has seen her talking with a drug dealer as if they were friends. And a computer hacker has found pictures of Riley on an escort service website. Not as squeaky clean as her parents want people to believe!

Suddenly, seemingly out of nowhere, someone confesses to the murder, and police consider the case closed. Clare isn't buying it; she thinks the person charged in the murder is a scapegoat and continues to dig into the case against her boss's orders. Soon she finds herself in a heap of trouble with her life on the line. What is the truth? Can she bring it to light before she is killed?

R.G. Belsky has written a taut, quickly paced who-dunnit with a main character in Clare that is easy to relate to and root for. There are lots of twists that keep the reader engaged. I found it so entertaining, I read it in one day and am already looking forward to the next one!

My thanks to Oceanview Publishing who allowed me to read an ARC via Netgalley. All opinions expressed in this review are my own and are freely given. The book is set for publication on October 4, 2022.
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An investigative journalist fiction series, It's News to Me by R G Belsky is the fifth adventure in the Clare Carlson mysteries. When her boss is replaced, Clare faces a new ruthless manager tasked with increasing the TV news ratings, whatever the cost. Clare is ordered back into the field to cover the news story of a bright young college student’s murder. When an Afghan war veteran is charged with her murder, Clare is not so certain and continues to investigate, despite the case having been solved. The narrative insightfully recreates newsroom tensions, personal conflicts and the insatiable need for the latest breaking news. Clare Carlson is a credible journalist who is feisty, quick with the riposte and will not stop until she has discovered the truth.  With its good balance of the protagonist’s personal and professional lives, makes this an enjoyable three star read rating.  Thanks to Oceanview Publishing and the author, for an uncorrected advanced reader copy for review purposes. As always, the opinions herein are totally my own and freely given.
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I really loved It's News To Me. I first found R.G. Belsky 20 years ago then lost track of him and it's so exciting to find out that he has a whole series. Clare Carlson is a kick butt character and her profession as a news reporter is fascinating. She is smart and her delivery cracked me up. I can't wait to go back and read the other books in this series.
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My own experience as a journalist prompted me to read the first book in this series, but I've kept on reading them just because they're so darned entertaining. This is the fourth, and after finishing it, I remain a devoted fan.

It's not so much that I identify with New York TV editor and hotshot journalist Clare Carlson; she says and does things far beyond my pay grade (too much of the former, in fact, made me lose a bit of respect for her in this story). And, this one has a little too much repetition. But overall, the plot and all the twists (some expected, others not) had me hanging on every page and not wanting to put it down.

As Clare is dealing with a cantankerous, ratings-hungry new boss, a beautiful and popular college student named Riley Hunt is murdered not far from the school. At first blush, it's thought to be a random attack. Led by her well-honed instincts, Clare isn't so sure - so she starts digging around and finds that Riley's perfect image may have a few flaws. Among them are a reported stalker, an unreported missing laptop and connections to a couple of well-connected young men and an escort service. Riley's mother's behavior, too, arouses Clare's Spidey senses; what, if anything, is she trying to hide?

When a local homeless veteran is charged with the murder and is too psychologically messed up to resist, Clare is even more sure there's more to Riley's story. Ferreting out the truth brings her in contact with some seedy, dangerous characters as well as her ex-husband, Homicide Detective Sam Markham. In between, a blind date with a Princeton professor leads to another, and another, and thoughts of a more permanent relationship (sometimes, when there's a will, there's a way). 

But as Clare ignores warnings to back off, the situation heats up; one murder puts an untimely end to what might have been an enlightening interview, and other murders follow. There's plenty of action right up to the end both on the case and in the studio, keeping me glued to the story. Thanks once again to the publisher, via NetGalley, for the opportunity to read and review a pre-release copy. Another one well done!
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