Cora Baxter is back - and this time, she's facing the most important deadline of her career…
When TV reporter Cora Baxter attends the scene of a murder in a London park, she's horrified to discover the victim is someone she knows – and devastated when one of her best friends is charged with the crime. Suddenly the fun-filled life of Cora and her eccentric camera crew takes a darker turn. Cora is convinced that her friend is innocent, but with seemingly solid evidence, the police investigation team – reluctantly led by Cora's boyfriend DCI Adam Bradberry – believe the case is closed. With a trail of clues that leads all the way to New York, can Cora find out the truth before the trial begins – or is it already too late?
The Deadline is the second in the hugely popular Cora Baxter Mysteries series by acclaimed broadcaster Jackie Kabler.
Last year I read and loved Jackie Kabler's debut novel 'The Dead Dog Day', the first Cora Baxter mystery, so much so that it gained a place among my top ten reads of 2015. So when a few weeks ago, the author offered me an ARC of her second book 'The Deadline', I was over the moon and couldn't wait to start reading it. Though second in a series, this book can be very well read as a standalone.
In 'The Deadline', Morning Live TV reporter Cora Baxter finds herself in a race against time to prove one of her best friend's innocence, after the latter's boyfriend is brutally murdered in a local park. With all evidence pointing at her friend, it's an open and shut case for the police and she's remanded in custody awaiting trial. But Cora is not convinced. She knows her friend well enough to discount any possibility that she could really commit murder but...
"...sometimes good people do bad things."
Now Cora is faced with the most important deadline of her life... In just six weeks her friend will appear in court for trial. In that time she has to find proof that her friend wasn't the killer. Cora has never missed a deadline. Could this possibly be the first one she fails? Will she be able to solve this mystery in time and save her friend from a long prison sentence for a crime she didn't commit? But then, is she really innocent? Cora believes so, but how come there's so much damning evidence against her?
Once again Jackie Kabler has written a highly entertaining read and I spent some delightful hours engrossed reading it. I have to say that I actually enjoyed it even more than 'The Dead Dog Day' and that's a brilliant book! Like in the previous book, the author shows an exceptional ability to mix and balance humour, drama, suspense and romance seamlessly and effortlessly while weaving a very well-written, clever, intriguing plot, brimful of highly realistic characters and believable dialogue. The numerous twists and turns the author plants along the way throws the story into a direction I certainly wasn't expecting.
Cora is such a great character, she's funny, glamorous and amusingly clever. She's the sort of person who brightens up anyone's day, the person you want to meet and befriend in real life. In this book she shows her unswaying loyalty towards her friend. As in the first book, Cora gets herself in the most ridiculous situations on live TV making up the humorous part of the book that made me laugh out loud on many occasions. I just loved the banter going on between Cora and 'the boys' while they're on the road. But when suspense is at play there are no laughs... but tears and anguish. The author knows how to portray the tension and keep the reader on their toes and she has an uncanny way of sowing doubt in the reader's mind on each and every character. Every time I'd convinced myself of someone's innocence, she added those few words at the end of the chapter just to rouse my suspicions back, keeping me wondering, unsure and asking questions! Who of the many possible suspects committed this murder?
With hilarious scenes, suspense, bizarre twists and turns, an intriguing storyline and a great cast of characters, this book is just fabulous and worthy of ALL THE STARS from me!! I can't recommend the Cora Baxter series highly enough!
With thanks to the author for an ARC of this terrific book.
Jackie Kabler spent 20 years as a journalist, starting in newspapers and then moving into TV as a reporter and newsreader. She is most famous for her time on GMTV, where she covered major stories such as the Soham murders and the 2004 tsunami, and also worked for ITV news and BBC Midlands. Jackie now works for QVC and lives between London and Gloucestershire.