Lilly Hawkins was covering the wildfire burning in the Sierra Nevada Mountains when she saw the coroner’s van and decided to follow it rather than head for home after her daylong shoot. Lilly was the TV news photographer (shooter) at KJAY out of Bakersfield, California, and she and her reporter had just completed a live broadcast. Always eager to grab breaking news for her station, she dumped the reporter and headed up the mountain towards Lake Elizabeth.
Thinking the drowning was nothing more than the accidental death of reckless young woman, Lilly headed further up to try for better shots of the fire. Little did she know the drowning victim was a former friend of hers from years ago. When Lilly knew her, Jessica Egan had been a dedicated environmentalist, not the wild party girl everyone believed.
When Lilly finds out that the victim is, and that there seems to be more to the story than people will admit, she begins to look further into the drowning. Because of the inconsistencies in the details of Jessica’s death, it doesn’t take long for Lilly to realize her former friend was murdered.
Now, Lilly must decide which is more important – getting great footage of the blazing inferno as her producer is demanding, or solve the murder of someone with whom she shared a complicated relationship. In her quest for the truth, she soon finds herself making life changing decisions. Should she stay on top of the burning mountain and try stopping the murderer before he stops her, or get off the mountain to save herself from the roaring fire?
Hot, Shot, and Bothered by Nora McFarland is an intense story of a gutsy gal who struggles to make a name for her in the highly competitive TV news game. McFarland has created a multi-faceted but flawed heroine who is not one to follow the rules, and is often at loggerheads with her boss.
To say this is a fast-paced story is an understatement. The author has her main character constantly moving from location to location seeking clues as she is also taking footage of the fire. Lilly pushes beyond the boundaries of common courtesy and riles more than one local in her effort to find out the truth.
Hot, Shot, and Bothered is the follow-up to A Bad Day’s Work, the first book in this new series. McFarland has stepped up her game in this one, and readers will appreciate the intense plot and strong dialogue. There are few wasted words or the asides that are so troublesome in some stories. Lilly is such an intriguing character fans will eagerly look forward to her next assignment.
A special thank you goes to Touchstone Paperback Original and Simon & Schuster for providing a complimentary copy of this novel. If you are interested in purchasing either novel in this series, they are available on Amazon.com .