As the Wicked Watch
by Hall, Tamron; Taylor, T. Shawn (CON)

After moving from Texas to Chicago, crime reporter Jordan Manning becomes frustrated with the lack of coverage of a series of murders of black women and does everything she can to give the story the attention it desperately requires.

*Starred Review* A serial killer targeting young Black women in the city of Chicago, and a long-standing tangle of political and police indifference and/or blindness to crimes against Blacks, are what a Black journalist confronts in Hall's street-smart debut mystery, the first in a projected series. Jordan Manning is a TV reporter who specializes in covering violent crimes. The discovery of the body of a young Black woman in a vacant lot near the El tracks galvanizes Manning in a way that sends her from reporting to investigating on her own. The police are quick to dismiss the victim as a runaway, but the teen's background as an honor student from a solid home screams out otherwise to Manning. From the start, readers will be intrigued by the myriad skills that go into street reporting, from figuring out which calls to the TV station's tip line are credible to how to develop sources, how to set up shots and interview difficult or traumatized subjects on-air, and how to avoid being manipulated by sources with agendas. Manning's determination to find the killer behind eight unsolved homicides leads her down increasingly dangerous paths. A pulse-pounding story that also provides a fascinating and important look into the difficulties of reporting on and finding justice for Black victims.HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: Emmy Award-winning Hall's extensive background as a TV journalist, including reporting for NBC and anchoring for MSNBC, infuses a great deal of credibility and behind-the-scenes verve to her first crime novel. Copyright 2021 Booklist Reviews.

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