Top critical review
Bland, cliched, redundant
on September 9, 2002
This book "tries too hard" to be about a sleazy tabloid. All the tabloid cliches are there (staff photographer doctors lizard photos, Bigfoot is considered a "big story," the gossip columnist is dressed loud and tacky). If the author had researched tabloids, he'd know that the National Enquirer, et al, have not covered Elvis, Bigfoot, or aliens since the 1970s. And the Weekly World News is a parody.
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.