by: Brenda Buchanan
Series: Joe Gale Series
Genre: Mystery, Crime Fiction
Release Date: February 1, 2016
Source: Publisher ~ Carina Press via NetGalley
A newspaper reporter struggles with unreliable sources while covering two explosive stories—the apparent murder of a priest who stood up to his church and a spate of increasingly destructive bombings.
Shock waves reverberate through tight-knit Riverside, Maine, when an outspoken priest is found dead. After writing Father Patrick Doherty's obituary, Portland Daily Chronicle reporter Joe Gale learns that the good Father didn't die in the garden where his body was found—the cops say it was murder, and the killer went to great pains to cover it up.
Friends and parishioners tell Joe that Patrick was sincere and selfless. But a vocal gang of rabble-rousers claim he was corrupt. Joe is nowhere near cracking the case when a second crisis threatens to tear Riverside apart: a poorly constructed bomb detonates near the local high school.
On the eve of Patrick's wake, the police imply the dead priest was involved in criminal activity prior to his death. And as Joe races to sort truth from rumor, his two big stories collide, putting him in mortal danger.
Truth Beat is the third book in the Joe Gale mystery series. I have read the second book, Cover Story, but not the first, Quick Pivot. Although Truth Beat is part of a series, you do not need knowledge from the previous books to enjoy this one. Truth Beat follows the life and times of Joe Gale who is an investigative reporter for an aging newspaper in Portland, Maine. He is an old school journalist that seems to put himself in danger while trying to get to the truth. He is honest, relentless, and a little reckless at times. More importantly, he is an average guy trying to balance his life as a reporter with trying to pursue a relationship with Christie who has a teenage son and owns a diner.
In this installment, Joe is tasked with investigating the death of controversial priest Father Patrick Doherty. Father Patrick was tasked with shuttering several of the catholic churches in the area to pay for damages related to sex scandals. Joe finds that Father Patrick had his own secrets which may have led to his death. To make matters even more complicated, bombs are being set off in the area which already has the town and local law enforcement on edge. Both crimes end up with a long list of suspects as there are plenty of people protesting the church closures and dragging Father Patrick’s name through the mud. As has been the case, the storytelling comes off to be very honest and realistic. I applaud the Brenda Buchanan for not being over the top. In this day and age, the best stories are the ones that seem to be taken directly from last night’s headlines.
Joe Gale is an easy person to like. He doesn’t cut corners and he refuses to back down to anyone even if it may cost him his job which doesn’t even pay him that much. To add insult to injury, Joe’s love life seems to always get sidetracked by his career. I couldn’t help but hope that everything comes together which is why I was a little disappointed with the lack of closure at the very end of the book. Without giving anything away, I hope that the next book delves more into Joe and Christie’s relationship.
**Received a copy from Carina Press in exchange for an honest unbiased opinion.**
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