It was a real pleasure to introduce you to author Maggie Cammiss back in May – you can read our conversation again here. And today I’m delighted to feature Maggie for a second time, because I’ve just finished reading Breaking News, her second novel, now available for kindle and in paperback. Do you know, I’m always a teeny bit frightened when I particularly like the person behind the book that I might struggle to say nice things in my review. But there were no such issues this time – I really enjoyed this one!
What happens when your life makes the evening news?
Television producer Sara Cassidy has her life all mapped out. She loves her job making weekly feature programmes for TV news channel UK24, and is looking forward to furthering her ambitions in the media. She is devastated when her fiancé makes a shattering confession, but she hardly has time to come to terms with his betrayal when her closest friend is involved in a freak accident and Sara’s world is turned upside down.
As Sara struggles to maintain a professional perspective, she finds solace in a new interest and a blossoming romance. But she has to be careful who she trusts in the cut-throat world of television news. Just as she is finding her feet again the career that means so much reveals its murkier side.
When she suddenly finds herself at the other end of the camera lens, Sara discovers that in the struggle for ratings, loyalty is in short supply.
Set against the authentically drawn world of 24-hour television news, this really was a story with a bit of everything. There’s betrayal, romance, corporate shenanigans, female friendship, domestic violence, the impact of child abuse/neglect, the problems of elderly parents, the pain of loss… and even knitting and farming alpacas! “Too much” you might think – but not a bit of it. The clear focus for the whole story is Sara, and she’s a wonderful character – overflowing with confidence and racked with insecurities, sometimes caring almost too much, sassy, funny and driven.
The overarching story is excellent, the sub-stories well developed, very different and simply fascinating. There are real shocks and surprises, heart-in-mouth moments – but the book has a real warmth about it through Sara’s character and her friendships that I really enjoyed. The writing is excellent, the characters (even the minor ones) so well developed, the emotions and the dialogue real and authentic: this is a book it’s easy to get tremendously involved in, to escape into for a few hours, but with an edge of reality about the world in which it’s set that keeps you nicely on edge (and sometimes seething…).
Very much recommended – an excellent read, and I’m glad I’ve discovered Maggie Cammiss’ writing at long last.
About the author (from our earlier interview)
A bit about me: I’ve always been an avid reader and scribbler and the first years of my working life were spent very happily in public libraries. Later, I moved into film archives and in 1989 I joined Sky News when the channel first launched. I worked behind the scenes, managing a team responsible for accumulating, cataloguing and maintaining a news footage archive. It was a great job, but now I’m retired, my days are rather different – we have my mother in law living with us and she has Alzheimer’s so every day is a voyage of discovery and interruptions are part of daily life.
My husband wouldn’t necessarily agree but I believe staring into space with a cup of tea and a biscuit beside me is a legitimate use of my time. I am an inveterate eavesdropper and I’ve always got a notebook and pen handy. I’m not quite an insomniac, but I make an awful lot of notes in the dead of night.
Maggie’s other novel, No News Is Good News, is now fully available too.