Investigative reporter Savannah ""Savvy"" McKinnon journeys to northern Minnesota to probe the deaths of four people, supposedly killed by a mysterious lake monster called Big Jelly. Original."
Billed as a cross between the Cat Who... books and the X-Files, this is the story of Savannah McKinnon, a writer for a notorious supermarket tabloid. Although she works for a tabloid, Savvy wants to get into serious journalism. When she gets a tip off the line about a lake monster that involves several deaths, Savvy goes out and does the almost unthinkable; she lands a field assignment. But things don't go quite the way she had hoped. First, her source turns out to be a kid. Then other bits of the case go sour. But there are still the bodies, the monster rumors, and a new chemical plant that seems to be killing of the fishing trade; a trade that keeps the town alive. Slowly Savvy begins to put together the pieces and her chances or a serious story.
THE MONSTER OF MINNESOTA is the first in a series called News From the Edge. The ending leaves plenty of room for Savvy to continue on her journalistic path. This book is really a mystery with an element of the fantastic and written by an author who seems to understand the genres. Savvy is a talented and interesting character. As with a modern trend in mysteries Savvy has her sights set on an equally interesting man. He runs a small weekly paper that she often submits articles to (which displeases her boss at the tabloid). The two have an interesting relationship that promises further development if the series continues.
Worse, this story is told first person by a bullying, unlikeable character mouthing noir cliches, like she stepped out of a 1940s movie. And she's ALWAYS talking about her tangled hair and "too-tight" clothes. Okay, so maybe the author is trying to "build empathy" with his female readers -- but he's made his point. No need to keep telling us the character "feels fat" and has "tangled hair." I wanted to shave her head already.
The story ranges from dull to moments of okay. As can be expected, this gal reporter hates working for a tabloid, wants a Pulitzer, hopes this story will be her big break out of "tabloid hell," lies to her fat Italian editor (shades of Kolchak's Tony Vinchenzo?), yada yada, chiche, chiche.
There's also the usual politically correct stuff. ... redneck sheriffs, ... chemical plant, good environmental conscious Native Americans. If you're hip to PC cliches, you've guess the villain, and his supporters, as they show up. No surprises in this paint by number non-mystery.