I was turned on to Gutteridge by a friend. Earlier this year I read her novel Boo. So when I found this title, the first in a series by Gutteridge, on BookMooch, I snatched it up. Scoop by Rene Gutteridge (Occupational Hazards, book 1) was a fun read. What follows is part review, part introspection.
Scoop is the first in her Occupational Hazards series. Set in a television newsroom, the story follows ace reporter Ray Duffey on assignment, where he gets physically assaulted live on camera by a disgruntled viewer. Duffey digs for answers (and a big scoop, if he gets there) as Hugo Talley, executive producer, deals with crisis after crisis in the newsroom, including the usual newsroom personality struggles, pacifying upper management and making tough calls on the spot. Scoop also boasts a bit of a love story.
I was alternately smirking at (like the unfortunate anchor Tate in the book) and commiserating with newsroom characters as the story unfolded. My reactions were, at least to some extent, tethered to my experience in newspaper journalism. We often maligned television “news” — sometimes their reporter would practically read a story straight from our newspaper, with no attribution and no original reporting. When we watch the local television news, I often wonder aloud why it’s important for the reporter to be “live” outside a building, in the dark, where something pretty insignificant happened hours ago.
I also struggled with whether the news we reported actually was worthwhile, if it was a service to the community or if I should just get out of the business. To make this short, the conclusion for me: I don’t work in newspapering now.
This was a fun, quick read. It has snatches of mystery, workplace and relationship drama. It also juxtaposes the quiet Christian with the outspoken Christian (homeschooled) with someone who goes to church but admits to not believing what’s taught, someone else who might get to church on Easter and Christmas, and others who are outspoken in their antagonism to faith, without being one bit preachy. I’m interested in reading the rest of this series, as well as the rest of the Boo series.
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