As the Wicked Watch by Tamron Hall

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As the Wicked Watch by Tamron Hall
Jordan Manning series Book 1
Publisher: William Morrow
Genre: Contemporary, Mystery/Suspense/Thriller
Rating: 3 stars
Reviewed by Ginger

When crime reporter Jordan Manning leaves her hometown in Texas to take a job at a television station in Chicago, she’s one step closer to her dream: a coveted anchor chair on a national network.

Jordan is smart and aggressive, with unabashed star-power, and often the only woman of color in the newsroom. Her signature? Arriving first on the scene—in impractical designer stilettos. Armed with a master’s degree in forensic science and impeccable instincts, Jordan has been able to balance her dueling motivations: breaking every big story—and giving a voice to the voiceless.

From her time in Texas, she’s covered the vilest of human behaviors but nothing has prepared her for Chicago. Jordan is that rare breed of a journalist who can navigate a crime scene as well as she can a newsroom—often noticing what others tend to miss. Again and again, she is called to cover the murders of Black women, many of them sexually assaulted, most brutalized, and all of them quickly forgotten.

All until Masey James—the story that Jordan just can’t shake, despite all efforts. A 15-year-old girl whose body was found in an abandoned lot, Masey has come to represent for Jordan all of the frustration and anger that her job often forces her to repress. Putting the rest of her work and her fraying personal life aside, Jordan does everything she can to give the story the coverage it desperately requires, and that a missing Black child would so rarely get.

There’s a serial killer on the loose, Jordan believes, and he’s hiding in plain sight.

The story follows Texas native Jordan Manning. Jordan’s an ambitious TV journalist who is compassionate, driven and determined to help solve the murder of Massy James. Sadly, the story of Masey Jones, a black teenager who has been missing for a few weeks is the focus story for Jordan.

I enjoyed the crime mystery mixed with journalism. I liked seeing behind the scenes as the story follows Jordan’s investigative journalism. She is set on exposing the injustice for victims as well as for the black community. Many times, she is so focused on getting the story that she forgoes eating.

A few things that I didn’t like about the writing is the very detailed backstory for each character mentioned. There were times in the book that were over detailed on unimportant situations and characters. Jordan has a lot of friends and in their introductions the story goes on long-winded tangents which overwhelmed the storyline with details that were not needed.

I admired Jordan’s strength, creative tactics and realness. She has a great and close relationship with her mother. She has a good circle of sister friends and reliable work associates. She is single but well aware that her lifestyle isn’t conducive to maintaining a healthy relationship. A late suggestion, if this is going to be a series saving some of the details of her friendships and her relationship with Thomas for a later book might have been well advised. This first book revealed everything about Jordan. As a reader I would have liked for the first book to focus on the storyline and provide some details about Jordan but leave a little mystery about her that’ll make me want to read the next installment of the series.

Jordan has a sense that something more is going on than anyone else realized. Another characteristic that I liked about Jordan is that she is willing to put herself where needed and she’s open to asking the hard questions to get the details of the story to the public. I was impressed with Jordan’s unique qualifications in having a degree in forensic science but at times she seems to cross the line in doing a detective’s job. This led me to believe that no one on the police force is capable of solving the case. Originally, the police wrote Masey off as a runaway. As the story intensifies the police are now under pressure to solve the case which leads to a questionable arrest per Jordan.

I admit, I lost interest as the story went along. It started to dwindle after the questionable arrest. There were so many people being introduced that it was confusing, and I didn’t care who the killer was, I just wanted to be finished because I knew probably wouldn’t remember them in the crowd. There may be some emotional triggers for some readers as this story does center around a missing 15-year-old girl (not disclosing specific triggers due to spoiler for potential readers), along with the mistreatment of the falsely accused.

Overall, I enjoyed the storyline despite the drawbacks stated previously. This was still an entertaining read and I enjoyed watching Jordan as she went from scene to scene, following sources as she gathered details on the story while the wicked watched.

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