BOOK OF THE DAY

 

BelowTheFoldbookcover

Below the Fold

By R.G. Belsky
 
Oceanview Publishing
$16.00
ISBN 978-1608093243
Publication Date: May 07, 2019
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Below the Fold

Review by Liz Gatterer

R.G. Belsky’s latest novel, Below the Fold (sequel to Yesterday’s News) features Clare Carlson, seasoned news director at Channel 10 in NYC. It is her job to decide which stories to put on-air, trying to choose those that will sell but still have some depth to them. She decides to take a risk and report on the seemingly unimportant murder of a homeless woman in the vestibule of a bank. This is woman no one cares about, which is why Clare sees this story as important. Every life has value. Everyone has a story—and this one turns out to be very important.

Dora Gayle, the murdered homeless woman, was once a beautiful young student at NYU with all her life ahead of her. How did she fall so far? Clare has only found out a little bit about Dora when a second murder is committed. This time, it is the brutal murder of a Wall Street executive—a woman who very much mattered.

The second murdered woman, Grace Mancuso was wealthy, beautiful, and corrupt. She was at the center of a huge investment scam and had taken a plea that saved her own neck while sending many of her colleagues to jail. The police discovered the murder weapon—a cheap, wooden statue of the Empire States Building—and a list. The list is of five names that include a former congressman, a police detective, a well-known defense lawyer, and Dora Gayle, the murdered homeless woman. What on earth these names have to do with each other seems unfathomable. But, Clare intends to find out.

Belsky certainly shines in the mystery genre. As a resident New Yorker and a former journalist, he has the inside knowledge that makes his characters vividly authentic and believable. Clare is not an “observant-little-old-lady” or a “high-functioning-sociopath.” She is a tenacious bulldog of a reporter that cannot put a good story down. Her connections are not conveniently coincidental but come from her real (and sometimes very conflicted) life. She is a strong character. Not a strong female character—don’t cut her short by bringing those kind of labels in. She can and will bring you down.

Belsky’s writing style is pragmatic and reflects his journalistic past. But don’t expect the puzzle pieces to fit together too easily. What may appear, on the surface, to be an easy 500 piece puzzle turns out to be a double-sided nightmare where the pieces fit together in more than one way.

Liz Gatterer attended Tulane University while living in New Orleans. It was there that she first began working with authors in the printing industry. Originally from Upstate New York, she moved to Nashville with her husband to pursue their careers (his being music). Three (absolutely fabulous) children later, she has returned to the working world in the industry she loves. She currently lives in Spring Hill with said husband and children, dogs, cats, and various other creatures. The necessity of multitasking has led her to an addiction to audiobooks – but, when able to, she still prefers to curl up with a good book (and a child in her lap).