by Roberta Gayle, contemporary (2001)
Arabesque, $5.99, ISBN 1-58314-209-6
This book should be called "Nothing But Investigative Reporting Procedures". Nothing But The Truth will make a decent story about reporters snooping for biggies, but as a romance, it's stillborn.
Kate Ramsey is investigating the mysterious deaths associated with the Professional Steelworkers and Welders Union of America's strike. Her investigation pits her against Leopold "Skipper" Arnold, who may be behind those deaths. Unfortunately, she has to fall for Brant Fuller, the portégé and best friend of Skipper.
That's it. What happens next is lots of details of how unions work, how reporters do and don't do their thing, the rigmarole of the law, the inefficiency of the justice system... anything but a good romance.
The romance is like a mood swing. When the plot demands it, Brant and Kate are at loggerheads. When the plot wants some quiet time, those two are then comparing their teeth. Brant's steadfast support for Skipper can really veer into irrational territory, especially as he accuses Skipper's investigators as racist. Uhm, people died, Brant. Stop being such a mule, come out of the closet, and give Skipper a smackeroo, will ya?
Kate is a smart heroine, when it comes to her job, that is, and she is a pretty good reporter. I think. (I'm not familiar with how investigative journalists should behave, but what she does most of the time makes sense to me.) The mystery and the revelation is pretty well done too.
But since the (non-)romance is irritatingly non-happening, I wish I have given this one a pass. And that's the truth.
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