Below the Fold is one of those rare books that grips you from the beginning and doesn’t let go. I’ve read a lot lately that had an enthralling beginning, and I wouldn’t say Below the Fold’s beginning is all that necessary, but once the writing started in chapter one, I couldn’t put it down. Belsky’s style is like a reporter’s: no-nonsense and compelling. I might have been able to guess he was a journalist, even if I hadn’t been party to his brief bio on the PICT website.
I chose a Basset Hound for the spirit animal for Below the Fold. It’s the second dog I’ve done, and it goes to show you that there is at least as much variation in the mystery genre as there is among dog breeds. Last time I chose a greyhound, which bespeaks sleek and elegant prose; this time, a hound, which bespeaks something a little grittier – albeit just as personable. Clare, the lead character, has some of the Basset Hound qualities: she’s outgoing and playful, speaks her mind, and is also stubborn and has a great sense of tracking.
The plot starts off simple enough. A homeless woman is murdered in NYC and she’s neither blonde nor young nor pretty, so she’s really not news. Her murder is quickly linked to that of a more photogenic victim by way of a list that the murderer left at the scene with five names on it. “Below the fold” is a newsman’s term for something less than leading (because it will get shoved below the fold on a newspaper and thus won’t be as visible as the news above the fold). In spite of Clare’s cynicism about murder victims belonging above or below the fold, she is dogged in her pursuit of the homeless woman’s killer, a trait you’ve got to admire and root for.
I have to say, I really liked Clare. And, from her inner monologues and particular sense of humor, I would have pegged the author as a woman, because whoever the author is, they have a unique insight into the female mind. Belsky just reinforces my belief that you don’t actually have to be who you write about; you just have to have a sensitive and discerning mental muscle. Of course, he has a unique perspective on reportage, being there himself, but that’s just icing on the cake. An excellent read. Don’t hesitate to grab your copy today!
Every human life is supposed to be important. Everyone should matter. But that’s not the case in the cutthroat TV news-rating world where Clare Carlson works. Sex, money, and power sell. Only murder victims of the right social strata are considered worth covering. Not the murder of a “nobody.”
So, when the battered body of a homeless woman named Dora Gayle is found on the streets of New York City, her murder barely gets a mention in the media. But Clare―a TV news director who still has a reporter’s instincts―decides to dig deeper into the seemingly meaningless death. She uncovers mysterious links between Gayle and a number of wealthy and influential figures. There is a prominent female defense attorney; a scandal-ridden ex-congressman; a decorated NYPD detective; and―most shocking of all―a wealthy media mogul who owns the TV station where Clare works. Soon there are more murders, more victims, more questions. As the bodies pile up, Clare realizes that her job, her career, and maybe even her life are at stake as she chases after her biggest story ever.
Read an excerpt:
R. G. Belsky is an author of crime fiction and a journalist in New York City. His newest mystery, Below The Fold, is being published in May 2019 by Oceanview. It is the second in a series featuring Clare Carlson, the news director for a New York City TV station. The first Clare Carlson book, YESTERDAY’S NEWS, came out in 2018. Belsky previously wrote the Gil Malloy series – THE KENNECONNECTIONION, SHOOTING FOR THE STARS AND BLONDE ICE – about a newspaper reporter at the New York Daily News. Belsky himself is a former managing editor at the Daily News and writes about the media from an extensive background in newspapers, magazines and TV/digital news. He has also been a top editor at the New York Post, Star magazine and NBC News. Belsky won the Claymore Award at Killer Nashville in 2016. He has finished as a Finalist for both the Silver Falchion and David Awards. And his first Clare Carlson book, YESTERDAY’S NEWS, was named Outstanding Crime/News Based Novel by Just Reviews in 2018 and was a Finalist for Best Mystery of 2018 in the Foreword INDIES Awards. His previous suspense/thriller novels include LOVERBOY and PLAYING DEAD. Belsky lives in New York City.
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