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As the Wicked Watch

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The first in a thrilling new series from Emmy Award–winning journalist Tamron Hall, in which a reporter unravels the disturbing mystery around the deaths of two black girls, the work of a serial killer terrorizing Chicago. When crime reporter Jordan Manning leaves her hometown in Texas to take a job at a television station in Chicago, she’s one step closer to her a dream: a The first in a thrilling new series from Emmy Award–winning journalist Tamron Hall, in which a reporter unravels the disturbing mystery around the deaths of two black girls, the work of a serial killer terrorizing Chicago. When crime reporter Jordan Manning leaves her hometown in Texas to take a job at a television station in Chicago, she’s one step closer to her a dream: a coveted anchor chair on a national network. Jordan is smart and aggressive, with unabashed star-power, and often the only woman of color in the newsroom. Her signature? Arriving first on the scene—in impractical designer stilettos. Armed with a master’s degree in forensic science and impeccable instincts, Jordan has thus far been able to balance her dueling motivations: breaking every big story—and giving voice to the voiceless. From her time reporting in Texas, she’s sure she has covered the vilest of human behaviors, but nothing has prepared her for Chicago. You see, Jordan is that rare breed of journalist who can navigate a crime scene as well as she can a newsroom—often noticing what others tend to miss. Again and again, she is called to cover the murders of black females, many of them sexually assaulted, most brutalized, and all of them quickly forgotten. All until Masey James—the story that Jordan just can’t shake, try as she might. A fifteen-year-old girl whose body was found in an abandoned lot, Masey has come to represent for Jordan all of the frustration that her job—with its required distance—often forces her to repress. Putting the rest of her workload and her (fraying) personal life aside, Jordan does everything she can to give the story the coverage it desperately requires, and that a missing black child would so rarely get. Three young boys are eventually charged with Masey’s murder, but Jordan remains unconvinced. There’s a serial killer on the loose, Jordan believes, and he’s hiding in plain sight.


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The first in a thrilling new series from Emmy Award–winning journalist Tamron Hall, in which a reporter unravels the disturbing mystery around the deaths of two black girls, the work of a serial killer terrorizing Chicago. When crime reporter Jordan Manning leaves her hometown in Texas to take a job at a television station in Chicago, she’s one step closer to her a dream: a The first in a thrilling new series from Emmy Award–winning journalist Tamron Hall, in which a reporter unravels the disturbing mystery around the deaths of two black girls, the work of a serial killer terrorizing Chicago. When crime reporter Jordan Manning leaves her hometown in Texas to take a job at a television station in Chicago, she’s one step closer to her a dream: a coveted anchor chair on a national network. Jordan is smart and aggressive, with unabashed star-power, and often the only woman of color in the newsroom. Her signature? Arriving first on the scene—in impractical designer stilettos. Armed with a master’s degree in forensic science and impeccable instincts, Jordan has thus far been able to balance her dueling motivations: breaking every big story—and giving voice to the voiceless. From her time reporting in Texas, she’s sure she has covered the vilest of human behaviors, but nothing has prepared her for Chicago. You see, Jordan is that rare breed of journalist who can navigate a crime scene as well as she can a newsroom—often noticing what others tend to miss. Again and again, she is called to cover the murders of black females, many of them sexually assaulted, most brutalized, and all of them quickly forgotten. All until Masey James—the story that Jordan just can’t shake, try as she might. A fifteen-year-old girl whose body was found in an abandoned lot, Masey has come to represent for Jordan all of the frustration that her job—with its required distance—often forces her to repress. Putting the rest of her workload and her (fraying) personal life aside, Jordan does everything she can to give the story the coverage it desperately requires, and that a missing black child would so rarely get. Three young boys are eventually charged with Masey’s murder, but Jordan remains unconvinced. There’s a serial killer on the loose, Jordan believes, and he’s hiding in plain sight.

30 review for As the Wicked Watch

  1. 5 out of 5

    Regina

    I love Tamron Hall. Unfortunately I did not love her book. It pains me to say it, because I’ve been a big Tam Fan since her days as an on-air journalist/presenter for The Today Show. As the Wicked Watch, her debut novel, was one of my most anticipated reads of 2021. But it just. doesn’t. work. The mystery follows 30-year-old (semi-autobiographical???) Jordan Manning, a journalist-slash-forensics expert who’s tracking the case of a killer in Chicago after the body of a 15-year-old missing girl is I love Tamron Hall. Unfortunately I did not love her book. It pains me to say it, because I’ve been a big Tam Fan since her days as an on-air journalist/presenter for The Today Show. As the Wicked Watch, her debut novel, was one of my most anticipated reads of 2021. But it just. doesn’t. work. The mystery follows 30-year-old (semi-autobiographical???) Jordan Manning, a journalist-slash-forensics expert who’s tracking the case of a killer in Chicago after the body of a 15-year-old missing girl is found. The child has been raped and ravaged, and Jordan likes brunch with her besties. Yep. That sentence pretty much sums up this book for me. Chapters with extremely dark, graphic depictions of this poor girl’s death are followed by ones about Jordan’s shoes, love life, and BFF meetups. In addition to being uneven in tone, it’s also quite repetitive and boring. That feeling of “I’m finishing this damn book tonight so I can move on with my life” is never a good sign, is it? Neither is the thought that it probably wouldn’t have found a big 5 publisher if it wasn’t written by a celebrity. Ouch. Here’s hoping Hall finds her footing with the next installment in this planned series, though I won’t be reading it to find out. There have been some positive reviews for As the Wicked Watch, so please do check those out if you’re a Tam Fan too. Meanwhile, I’m moving on with my life. My thanks to William Morrow / Custom House / Scene of the Crime for the advance copy to review via NetGalley. Blog: https://www.confettibookshelf.com/

  2. 4 out of 5

    Michael David

    HAPPY PUBLICATION DAY! “I know from the many stories that I’ve covered that the wicked watch, and they strike when they think nobody’s looking…” Jordan Manning is an Investigative Journalist for Channel 8 news in Chicago. She’s seen her fair share of crime while rising through the ranks, starting her career in Texas. She’s at a good place professionally, but might just be on the brink of the story of a lifetime. In the Bronzeville neighborhood, a teenager named Masey James is found dead in an aband HAPPY PUBLICATION DAY! “I know from the many stories that I’ve covered that the wicked watch, and they strike when they think nobody’s looking…” Jordan Manning is an Investigative Journalist for Channel 8 news in Chicago. She’s seen her fair share of crime while rising through the ranks, starting her career in Texas. She’s at a good place professionally, but might just be on the brink of the story of a lifetime. In the Bronzeville neighborhood, a teenager named Masey James is found dead in an abandoned/neglected park. She was a star student, a young woman who loved her family, and Black...which is why many suspect the police wasted precious time declaring her a runaway even though no one who knew Masey believed that. Jordan herself, a smart and successful Black woman, is on the case. She can’t help but get close to the situation...and Masey’s family. She will not let this young woman be forgotten, and vows to to do whatever it takes to find and expose Masey’s killer...even if she breaks one of her 4-inch heels. Eventually a few individuals are charged with the murder, but Jordan knows the police are rushing to wrap it up and move on. She can’t let that happen when intuition tells her the real killer is still out there...haunting the streets of Chicago. This is journalist Tamron Hall’s debut novel, and you can color me impressed! While I don’t think she IS Jordan, I have no doubt she dug into her own repertoire to write the character. Hall, similarly, started out in Texas before heading to Chi-Town (and is now in NY). She gives the reader a fly on the wall view of investigative journalism (the high points - feelings of success, hard work that pays off...and the low points - the job is the #1 priority, hard to make time for other people, the constant stress). As for the character of Jordan: Total badass! She is extremely smart, justifiably sassy, and fully dimensional. She’s not afraid to fight for justice. She earned a certification in crime scene investigation years ago, and that helps her do a lot more than her peers can do. Beneath her powerful exterior, she is all about heart and integrity. You’ll see that as she interacts with her friends, family, families of victims, and members of the public. There were a few clunky moments, but that’s small change. Jordan goes off on tangents here and there, whether it be how hungry (hangry) she is as she makes a quest to grab a candy bar in between filming segments, or lamenting on her personal life. I can imagine some readers having issues with these parts, but I really enjoyed them. I felt like I was in the head of a non-stop busy investigative journalist...and they need to eat and feel love too! #justiceforgoodjournalists Overall, this is a faboosh debut, and I am happy the plan is to turn this into a Jordan Manning series! If you’re looking for a fresh angle in the thriller department, look no further! Hall does wonders writing a dark story that could’ve been ripped from the headlines, while balancing it out with some fun/light nuggets via Jordan. Examples: her acute wisdom, her love for fashion, and - most importantly- her heart of gold..personally and professionally. I want to be friends with Jordan (and Tamron), and anyone would be lucky to have her in their corner! Thank you to William Morrow and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review. Expected Publication Date: 10/26/21. Review also posted at: https://bonkersforthebooks.wordpress.com

  3. 5 out of 5

    Kat

    Welp. I’ve spent four days trying to make progress with this book, and I’m still only at 21%. To be fair, it really may just be me, or a perfectly fine book at the wrong time. That said, when random excuses to not read a book start floating through my mind, like: “When’s the last time I organized my sock drawer?” - I know it’s time to move on. My biggest issue was that I just didn’t care for the MC, crime reporter Jordan Manning. Her responses to things felt overly dramatic at times, and she’d bla Welp. I’ve spent four days trying to make progress with this book, and I’m still only at 21%. To be fair, it really may just be me, or a perfectly fine book at the wrong time. That said, when random excuses to not read a book start floating through my mind, like: “When’s the last time I organized my sock drawer?” - I know it’s time to move on. My biggest issue was that I just didn’t care for the MC, crime reporter Jordan Manning. Her responses to things felt overly dramatic at times, and she’d blab what should have been protected details about crimes openly over drinks with the girls or to her mom, which irritated me and made me not trust her. Another issue: I don’t like a lot of descriptive filler, so if a book is detailing where the character got her couch cushions and handwoven wrap from when it isn’t pertinent to the story, it starts to feel like the author is meeting required word counts, and I, in turn, zone out. Anyways, personal preferences vary a lot from person to person, so don’t make a decision off of my review. I’ve had friends really enjoy this, and others who really didn’t, so I’d check out some reviews on both sides before deciding. While it didn’t work for me, it’s still an admirable first effort from author Tamron Hall and the start to a series that many of you will likely enjoy. (No rating) Thanks to William Morrow and Custom House Publishers, NetGalley and author Tamron Hall for this ARC in exchange for my honest opinions. It’s due to be published October 26, 2021.

  4. 5 out of 5

    L.A.

    An outstanding debut by the author Tamron Hall. It has always been said the guilty watch closely around the crime scene, so the title fits As the Wicked Watch. The book shapes into unethical police work to solve a crime in the underprivileged, inner city Chicago. When a young black woman Masey James is found brutally raped, murdered and partially burned in an abandoned park, the town chooses sides. Political activists and the local community members rallied and warned police the park was in need An outstanding debut by the author Tamron Hall. It has always been said the guilty watch closely around the crime scene, so the title fits As the Wicked Watch. The book shapes into unethical police work to solve a crime in the underprivileged, inner city Chicago. When a young black woman Masey James is found brutally raped, murdered and partially burned in an abandoned park, the town chooses sides. Political activists and the local community members rallied and warned police the park was in need of repair to evade crime. While the police search for quick answers they arrest some young middle school students for the crime. Jordan Manning, a young black, female reporter searches for the truth while losing the police chief’s trust as she disgruntles their satisfaction of their catch. She is attacked as she closes in to the real killer. Gathering trust and justice for the family does not come easy as she weaves in and out of shady neighborhoods sending deep messages in honor of those living through the bias and portrayal due to their color, living facilities and income. A different light is shed on the premises of this mystery thriller. Mixed messages and the hunt for the truth are scattered throughout revealing a need for change in journalism and the people great and small …justice is justice. Thank you NetGalley for this ARC in exchange for my honest review

  5. 4 out of 5

    DeAnn

    3.75 TV journalism stars This book digs into the crime scene in Chicago as covered by TV reporter Jordan Manning. It was fascinating to see how Jordan’s 10–12-hour workday might result in a 3-minute segment on the evening news. Jordan has unique qualifications for her job, having gotten a degree in forensic science. Although, she does border on doing police work as she digs into covering the story! This tale quickly focuses in with the sad story of Masey Jones, a black teenager who has been missin 3.75 TV journalism stars This book digs into the crime scene in Chicago as covered by TV reporter Jordan Manning. It was fascinating to see how Jordan’s 10–12-hour workday might result in a 3-minute segment on the evening news. Jordan has unique qualifications for her job, having gotten a degree in forensic science. Although, she does border on doing police work as she digs into covering the story! This tale quickly focuses in with the sad story of Masey Jones, a black teenager who has been missing for a few weeks. The police originally wrote her off as a runaway. Jordan is on the story, interviewing the mother, a vigil, and finding new clues that she indirectly shares with the police. She starts to make some unsafe choices as she pursues this one, but it seems to be personal for her, especially when Masey’s body is discovered. The police are really under pressure to solve this case and that intensifies when they make a questionable arrest. It was interesting to see the interplay between the police and the media for a case like this. I really liked the reporting side of this one but there were some forays into Jordan’s love life that I could have done without. There were a few repetitious parts and uneven storytelling, but overall, I liked this one. Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher William Morrow/Custom House for the copy of this one to read and review.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Laurie

    This sounded like it would be such a good book: a journalist trying to solve murders! I felt the topic of the lack of police investigation in to missing and murdered persons of color timely, however, and looked forward to a good thriller with a conscious. Unfortunately, it didn't live up to my expectations. Besides the main character using people to get a story at any cost, the author lost me with all of the details of her social life, clothing (size six!) and the repetition of the facts of the This sounded like it would be such a good book: a journalist trying to solve murders! I felt the topic of the lack of police investigation in to missing and murdered persons of color timely, however, and looked forward to a good thriller with a conscious. Unfortunately, it didn't live up to my expectations. Besides the main character using people to get a story at any cost, the author lost me with all of the details of her social life, clothing (size six!) and the repetition of the facts of the murder she was covering. I also found it hard to believe that a television journalist would also have a degree in forensic science. How likely is that combination? We are introduced to Jordan Manning when a missing Black teenage girl, who police have dismissed as a runaway, turns up murdered. The injustice of the police investigation gets to Jordan and she takes up the cause at the same time she is reporting on it. Using her investigative journalistic skills and her knowledge of forensic science, she is determined to right this wrong. I found the pacing very slow, especially at the beginning. I get that the author is fleshing out a character, but the overwhelming details of her life lost me more than once. I found the writing to be amateurish at times and the dialogue sometimes stilted. I did enjoy the glimpses into the Black community and how they rallied to get justice for the murdered girl. I couldn't root for the main character as I found her too self-absorbed and didn't like the way she used people to get her stories. It was a very promising book that just didn't do it for me. Thank you NetGalley and William Morrow for an advance copy of this book. The publication date is October 26, 2021.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Fiona

    From as early as the dedication, Tamron Hall makes her intentions clear for As the Wicked Watch – she’s here to give you a twisty crime mystery, sure, but she’s also got some statements to make along the way. Journalist Jordan Manning works the crime beat in Chicago, bringing a blend of femininity, empathy, and a healthy dose of journalistic instincts, which have served her well and helped her to rise steadily through the ranks. But when teenager Masey James goes missing, Jordan starts to realize From as early as the dedication, Tamron Hall makes her intentions clear for As the Wicked Watch – she’s here to give you a twisty crime mystery, sure, but she’s also got some statements to make along the way. Journalist Jordan Manning works the crime beat in Chicago, bringing a blend of femininity, empathy, and a healthy dose of journalistic instincts, which have served her well and helped her to rise steadily through the ranks. But when teenager Masey James goes missing, Jordan starts to realize that she may have let herself get too close to this one. This is Tamron Hall’s fiction debut, and it’s a great start. They say to write what you know, and it’s clear the author knows the world of journalism and crime like the back of her hand; the details are right, but aren’t allowed to intrude on keeping this novel entertaining for the reader. The Chicago setting is used to best advantage, and as someone completely unfamiliar with the city, I was easily still able to keep track of the action. Jordan Manning is a smart protagonist it’s easy to like – she’s ethical but able to push the hard questions when she has to. The strongest part of the novel, though, was the sharp and honest portrayal of the issues surrounding equality when it comes to crime victims and their families. Poor victims, victims of color, anyone who can be assigned to a class that somehow strips them of their right to better treatment; they all too frequently don’t get a fair shake from the criminal justice system or the media. Tamron Hall again keeps this balanced against allowing her narrative room to flow, but it’s an issue she clearly feels strongly about; as should we all. As the Wicked Watch is a very strong debut from an author with a voice that I’m very much looking forward to hearing more from.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Ms. Woc Reader

    Jordan Manning is a crime reporter with a forensic science background and a criminal investigation certification. Originally from Texas she's been living in Chicago for the past few years. She's reporting on the case of a girl who was found brutally murdered but the police are trying to paint it as if he was a runaway. This case is really sticking with her. The deaths of Black people especially Black girls often go overlooked and unsolved. As Jordan interviews people close to the victim she star Jordan Manning is a crime reporter with a forensic science background and a criminal investigation certification. Originally from Texas she's been living in Chicago for the past few years. She's reporting on the case of a girl who was found brutally murdered but the police are trying to paint it as if he was a runaway. This case is really sticking with her. The deaths of Black people especially Black girls often go overlooked and unsolved. As Jordan interviews people close to the victim she starts to uncover details unknown to the police and feels the need to take investigating into her own hands. Jordan is clearly modeled after the author Tamron Hall and those familiar with her may have a hard time separating the two. So much of who she is bleeds into Jordan from backstory to how she navigates through relationships. At times the book gets too preachy and the day to day activities feel mundane. At times the mystery is sidetracked by Jordan recalling different moments in her life and we spend a bit too much time in her head. The book wasn't bad it just wasn't particularly satisfying enough to want to follow this characters through multiple books. See full review below https://womenofcolorreadtoo.blogspot....

  9. 4 out of 5

    Keysha

    ::I received an ARC of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you for the opportunity to read your work!: This week I read #AsTheWickedWatch by #TamronHall . Yes. That Tamron Hall. And since this isn't a genre I read often, I wanted to make sure to support Hall because she's an amazing journalist and advocate for victims of violent crime. This book is about a Chicago crime reporter named Jordan who is passionate about her work. The book begins with her ::I received an ARC of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you for the opportunity to read your work!: This week I read #AsTheWickedWatch by #TamronHall . Yes. That Tamron Hall. And since this isn't a genre I read often, I wanted to make sure to support Hall because she's an amazing journalist and advocate for victims of violent crime. This book is about a Chicago crime reporter named Jordan who is passionate about her work. The book begins with her working a story about a young Black girl who is missing, but the police have classified as a runaway. Jordan struggles to keep her feelings in check as she conducts interviews, holds the police's feet to the fire, and chases down ledes. Things I enjoyed: Jordan talking about how race affects her in the newsroom, and which stories she is allowed to cover. I also think Hall tried to touch on issues of gentrification and how Black victims are often brutalized, their stories sensationalized, and then they are forgotten. Not so great things: Man. I wanted to love this book. But this book needed a strong Structural and Developmental Edit. There was so much repetition and the main character would just start rambling about a memory in the middle of important plot moments. There was also so much telling, and not enough showing. I really believe this premise could flesh out into a great series, but I think Hall needs to find the right editors to help bring her stories to life.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Donna

    3.5 stars. Jordan Manning is a broadcast crime reporter looking into the deaths of eight black women killed over the last two years in Chicago. I've been aware of Tamron Hall for several years as a cable news anchor. Now she's an author who is calling out racism. Jordan Manning is an interesting character with a degree in journalism and a master's degree in forensic science. I enjoyed the reporting and live interviews that Jordan did. I wonder if people who have knowledge of details in a police in 3.5 stars. Jordan Manning is a broadcast crime reporter looking into the deaths of eight black women killed over the last two years in Chicago. I've been aware of Tamron Hall for several years as a cable news anchor. Now she's an author who is calling out racism. Jordan Manning is an interesting character with a degree in journalism and a master's degree in forensic science. I enjoyed the reporting and live interviews that Jordan did. I wonder if people who have knowledge of details in a police investigation talk about these with friends and family. I have no idea but this jumped out at me in the book. I love serial killer books but would have been happier if there was more of that and less of the social justice talking. Just my preference for reading. There's more action in the last quarter of the story. I received an ARC of this book in a Goodreads giveaway and thought Tamron Hall did a good job in her debut.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Christine

    4.5 stars Jordan Manning is a television reporter in Chicago who cares so much about the stories she reports on, she sometimes becomes too invested in the people and the outcomes. One of those cases is a missing fifteen-year-old honor student who is later discovered to have been murdered. The girl’s mother is not the only one in the city to believe her daughter’s disappearance wasn’t taken seriously because she was black. Jordan is determined to find out what happened and keep a killer from strik 4.5 stars Jordan Manning is a television reporter in Chicago who cares so much about the stories she reports on, she sometimes becomes too invested in the people and the outcomes. One of those cases is a missing fifteen-year-old honor student who is later discovered to have been murdered. The girl’s mother is not the only one in the city to believe her daughter’s disappearance wasn’t taken seriously because she was black. Jordan is determined to find out what happened and keep a killer from striking again, all the while dealing with preconceived notions about race from witnesses, viewers, and colleagues. It took me a couple of chapters to really get into this story. The timelines of two murder cases confused me at first and we meet a lot of different side characters who are friends with or work with Jordan. It was hard to know which characters were going to be important to the ongoing story and that distracted me. However, once I got some of that figured out, I really enjoyed the book. Jordan is smart, driven and career-oriented, and is also a caring and compassionate person. Most of the story is told from her point-of-view, with a few “news reports” about the case throughout the book. The book is very suspenseful and became more tense the closer Jordan got to the truth. I was surprised by some of the revelations that came about about some of the suspects and witnesses. I like the way everything came together by the end. I am also impressed by the way the author makes you think about current, important issues without being preachy. It is educational, thought-provoking, and entertaining. I really hope there will be future books featuring Jordan Manning. Thank you to NetGalley, William Morrow, and Scene of the Crime Early Reads for this ebook. An advance copy was provided to me at no cost, but my review is voluntary and unbiased.

  12. 4 out of 5

    RubieReads

    Finally it only took me 17 days to finish. Here we have Jordan who is a crime journalists/reporter who has moved to Chicago. When a beautiful girl named Masey 15 years old is brutally murdered and dumped at a local park. The community is outraged and they should be, more than a couple of young ladies have been killed in recent years! Jordan takes this case seriously.... She is determined to find Masey's killer. Even if it cost her own life! My thoughts: I was so excited to read this book! Serial Kill Finally it only took me 17 days to finish. Here we have Jordan who is a crime journalists/reporter who has moved to Chicago. When a beautiful girl named Masey 15 years old is brutally murdered and dumped at a local park. The community is outraged and they should be, more than a couple of young ladies have been killed in recent years! Jordan takes this case seriously.... She is determined to find Masey's killer. Even if it cost her own life! My thoughts: I was so excited to read this book! Serial Killers are my thing! But unfortunately I just couldn't get into it. I mean it took me 17 days to finish it. Insane My personal opinion it was slow... Oh so slow. Very repetitive which I didn't care for. Some things would come out of no where.... Example: Jordan goes home one evening and she stops to talk to a friend Bass who works at the front desk of her apartment complex and then she would start reminiscing about an old friend who lives in Texas? Big'ol paragraphs about old friends and stuff. Kind of annoying. What! Like why? Overall I did not like this book. Was not my cup of tea and I hate saying this I do. I hope others can enjoy it better than I did. Thank You William Morrow, NetGalley and Author for the chance to read this ebook!

  13. 5 out of 5

    The CurvyJones

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. This book reminds me of when i first started reading Marcia Clark. She had so much legal knowledge that she was eager to prove she knew what she was talking about and her first few books suffered from over detailing the day in and day out work of being an attorney. I felt a lot of the same in this novel. Jordan is an investigative journalist in Chicago trying to prove she knows what she is doing and she's where she belongs. When she lands a big scoop, the story doesn't end well and that bothers This book reminds me of when i first started reading Marcia Clark. She had so much legal knowledge that she was eager to prove she knew what she was talking about and her first few books suffered from over detailing the day in and day out work of being an attorney. I felt a lot of the same in this novel. Jordan is an investigative journalist in Chicago trying to prove she knows what she is doing and she's where she belongs. When she lands a big scoop, the story doesn't end well and that bothers Jordan... so she begins investigating. As the Wicked Watch was a highly anticipated read and I was so excited to get an advance copy. I kept my expectations low and that was wise. This was NOT a bad read-- but I didn't want to prematurely hike the likelihood that I would love this book. I did not love it... I also did not hate it. It was an OK read. Some triggers for this story involve violence toward children and adults. I can't be more specific without spoiling the plot, but know before you go in that this story involves children.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Tracy

    I have always loved watching newscaster Tamron Hall anchor and cover special interest stories. This first book of the Jordan Manning series shows she shines as a gifted author as well. As the Wicked Watch is an exciting mystery thriller centered on TV anchor and lead protagonist Jordan Manning. She finds herself caught up in trying to solve the mystery of who murdered a beautiful 15 yo African American high achieving honor student. This young girl's case brings up many hot button issues for Jord I have always loved watching newscaster Tamron Hall anchor and cover special interest stories. This first book of the Jordan Manning series shows she shines as a gifted author as well. As the Wicked Watch is an exciting mystery thriller centered on TV anchor and lead protagonist Jordan Manning. She finds herself caught up in trying to solve the mystery of who murdered a beautiful 15 yo African American high achieving honor student. This young girl's case brings up many hot button issues for Jordan as she finds herself becoming emotionally involved and drawn deeper into the investigation than is deemed appropriate for her profession as a reporter. In the processes she discovers herself confronting systemic racism, reevaluating the elevated expectations women must meet if they want to succeed in the extremely high pressure (male dominated) field that is television news reporting, witnessing police cover-ups, coming to terms with her own unconscious biases for her race, and much more. Narrator Susan Dalian has the perfect voice for conveying the emotions, actions and thoughts of this multidimensional cast of characters and carried the storyline expertly as the solo voice for the audiobook. Looking forward to Ms. Hall's release of the second episode of this series and finding out what is in store next for Jordan.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Taina Garcia

    I had to DNF at 41%. I love watching Tamron Hall on her investigative crime show but I couldn’t handle this book. She would get going on the storyline but veer off into unnecessary explanations of even something as simple as midwesterners calling soft drinks “ pop.” 🤦🏼‍♀️ Hall’s writing style is not for me.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Mackey

    I absolutely loved As the Wicked Watch from start to finish. Ironically, since I don't own a television and don't watch news or talk shows, I had no idea who Tamron Hall was until I came back here to write this review. Luckily for me I wasn't swayed by her "stardom" or her views. That left me with an extremely well written crime novel that ripped my heart in two. Someone is killing, not just killing but eviscerating, young Black women and girls in the Chicago area. Television investigative repor I absolutely loved As the Wicked Watch from start to finish. Ironically, since I don't own a television and don't watch news or talk shows, I had no idea who Tamron Hall was until I came back here to write this review. Luckily for me I wasn't swayed by her "stardom" or her views. That left me with an extremely well written crime novel that ripped my heart in two. Someone is killing, not just killing but eviscerating, young Black women and girls in the Chicago area. Television investigative reporter, Jordan Manning, becomes unusually close to the mother of a promising young Black girl who is missing. The cops claim she has run away but the mother insists that she has too much going for her to do that. As the community comes together for this mother and in search for the girl, secrets are revealed. There is far more going on than anyone realized - with the cops, the community leaders and the family itself. There is so much emotion on the pages of this book. After the past few years of living near Chicago, living within shouting distance of a city that has been rocked with violence against POC, this story hit far too close to home for comfort. Yes, reading it did make me, a white women, very uncomfortable. But it is necessary that we read them, that we own them, that we recognize what they are telling us regardless of whether these stories are in fiction or in non-fiction or on your television screen. Violence against anyone by anyone for any reason is wrong. Look at their faces. See the grief and the pain. Own it. Full stop. The only reason that I did not give the book five stars is because toward the end, the pace of the story started to drag. Something written this well doesn't deserve to lose anyone's attention and, hopefully, better editing in the future will not allow that to happen again. Obviously I loved and highly recommend this book. Obviously.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Joelle Egan

    There are rare occasions when a compelling novel can subtly expose the reader to a specific cause or examine social ills while avoiding being too didactic. Together they seamlessly combine so the effect appears natural, and the plot does not become just a mechanism to deliver the social commentary. It is difficult to maintain balance and focus when the novel itself does not seem to have a strong objective. As the Wicked Watch by Tamron Hall attempts to address too many issues with a plot that me There are rare occasions when a compelling novel can subtly expose the reader to a specific cause or examine social ills while avoiding being too didactic. Together they seamlessly combine so the effect appears natural, and the plot does not become just a mechanism to deliver the social commentary. It is difficult to maintain balance and focus when the novel itself does not seem to have a strong objective. As the Wicked Watch by Tamron Hall attempts to address too many issues with a plot that meanders away wherever her lectures are forcibly inserted. The main character is Jordan Manning, a newly transplanted, ambitious tv journalist who is driven to work harder as a woman and a person of color. When a murder occurs involving a young black girl, Jordan wants to ensure that the case is given equal attention by press and authorities. She becomes deeply embedded in the community and transgresses into potential ethics violations due to her obsession with the story. The premise is interesting and Hall provides a perspective that is often underrepresented. The protagonist is hindered by the heavy load of causes Hall places upon her. Misogyny and degradation, lack of social system support, police ineptitude, racial discrimination and exploitation of victim’s families are just a few of the issues Jordan is tasked to represent. Jordan has a plethora of convenient credentials and special skills to not only cover—but also solve—the case. Most of the action involves following the journalist as she runs between scenes and sources, commenting on the frustration and roadblocks she encounters. Far from integrating, the switch from plot progression to soap box is obvious and jarring. With As the Wicked Watch, Hall has too much to express and she interrupts herself while relaying her many messages. Thanks to the author, William Morris and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an unbiased review.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Kim

    As the Wicked Watch by Tamron Hall is an excellently written and very needed book that continues to shine a light on Black communities, not just through a white perspective, but that of a Black, Emmy Award Winning TV host and journalist. With that being said, I do not believe this book was marketed in the best way to showcase how it shines. When I read the words, thrilling and serial killer, in a book’s synopsis I think I will be reading a fast paced novel with lots of crime scene investigations As the Wicked Watch by Tamron Hall is an excellently written and very needed book that continues to shine a light on Black communities, not just through a white perspective, but that of a Black, Emmy Award Winning TV host and journalist. With that being said, I do not believe this book was marketed in the best way to showcase how it shines. When I read the words, thrilling and serial killer, in a book’s synopsis I think I will be reading a fast paced novel with lots of crime scene investigations and looks into a serial killer’s mind. What Hall wrote was a complex look into Black communities, racism, and sexism that moved at a very slow pace. As the Wicked Watch took me four evenings to finish, but it was so interesting that I never found myself skimming. In fact, I couldn’t because even though it was slow and didn’t pick up until about 250 pages in, there was always something happening or interviews taking place there were filled with information. I can see a lot of readers who are fans of thrillers giving As the Wicked Watch a lower rating because of its pace, but I hope this doesn’t dissuade you from giving it a read. It really was wonderfully written with intense moments, and the ending was disturbing while having justice being served to more than just the killer. When book two in the Jordan Manning series comes out, I will be interested to see what topics Hall writes about next.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Shannon Dyer

    Round up to 4.5 stars.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Nashallie | SheReadsBetweenSips ❥

    Sadly, this one did not meet my expectations. I did not finish the book since it did not grab my attention. I received this book from the publishing company in exchange for my honest review. There is nothing else I can tell you.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Angie (angieoverbooked)

    You can’t really read this and not picture Tamron as Jordan- and I like her so that’s not a bad thing. But the pace was too slow, particularly for a crime/mystery novel. There’s a lot of commentary about the Black female journalist perspective and media coverage of missing and murdered Black girls, which was clearly real even though the story is fiction- and I actually did like that. But, overall, it wasn’t as thrilling as the title implies.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Kayleigh 2babesandabookshelf

    Had high hopes for this one!! I love thrillers where crime reporters are the main POV, but for some reason this fell short for me. The story was compelling, but there was SO MUCH unnecessary commentary that really drug this story into the mud. I think it could have easily been 200 pages less and still semi-impactful. I'd read more by this author if it were more succinct and to the point. I really enjoy the different POV from someone outside of the police department, but there wasn't enough meat Had high hopes for this one!! I love thrillers where crime reporters are the main POV, but for some reason this fell short for me. The story was compelling, but there was SO MUCH unnecessary commentary that really drug this story into the mud. I think it could have easily been 200 pages less and still semi-impactful. I'd read more by this author if it were more succinct and to the point. I really enjoy the different POV from someone outside of the police department, but there wasn't enough meat to the plot and WAY too much other commentary.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Rohn Strong

    I LOVED this book. The foundation of the story is a thriller. The old fashion, killer killing and the person poised to solve it has a deeper sense of knowing than the cops investigating. It, friend, there is so much more. Tamron Hall gives us a nuanced look at class and racial inequality. She delves into the biases we all carry but especially those in power. From the media conglomerate she works for and their unwillingness to see black women’s death as anything but a throw away story. To the cops I LOVED this book. The foundation of the story is a thriller. The old fashion, killer killing and the person poised to solve it has a deeper sense of knowing than the cops investigating. It, friend, there is so much more. Tamron Hall gives us a nuanced look at class and racial inequality. She delves into the biases we all carry but especially those in power. From the media conglomerate she works for and their unwillingness to see black women’s death as anything but a throw away story. To the cops pouncing on innocent black boys to close a case in a rush to judgement. It’s a story we know. It’s a story we see again and again. It’s a story that we’ll continue to face until enough people are willing to stand up and stop the narrative. Hall did an amazing job with this book and I loved it. Was it heavy handed at parts as I’ve read in other interviews? Sure. But this is the first in a new series and it deals with subjects that need to be put out there plain and simple for some people to understand. Bottom line, this was a great book. I’ll recommend it to my customers and it’s one of my favorite mysteries this year.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Danielle

    Jordan Manning is an established crime reporter in Chicago. She’s always hungry for the next story and to be top tier in her field. The case of a 15 year old girl named Masey James captures Jordan’s attention. Masey was a very smart African American teen that had seemingly runaway until her body is found in an abandoned lot. Jordan makes it her goal to put forward her own investigative skills to bring justice for Masey and her family. What Jordan doesn’t realize is how much of her own self it wi Jordan Manning is an established crime reporter in Chicago. She’s always hungry for the next story and to be top tier in her field. The case of a 15 year old girl named Masey James captures Jordan’s attention. Masey was a very smart African American teen that had seemingly runaway until her body is found in an abandoned lot. Jordan makes it her goal to put forward her own investigative skills to bring justice for Masey and her family. What Jordan doesn’t realize is how much of her own self it will take. I liked the behind the scene journalist flair the story had. The events that unfolded are very parallel to cases we often see on the news. Unfortunately, there were a ton of characters to try to keep track of. It seemed overly detailed on unimportant situations or characters. As this was Hall’s first book I think it was a good start just a little amateurish at times. I do believe this will be a series of Jordan’s career in journalism and I’d like to see what she encounters next.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Cindy :: leavemetomybooks ::

    A serial killer is targeting Black women in Chicago and the police are not doing enough to investigate, so TV news reporter Jordan Manning starts her own investigation. The whole time I was reading this I was reminded of Christine Pelisek, the reporter who broke the Grim Sleeper serial killer story and exposed the LAPD’s blatant disregard for the lives of the Black women he targeted. Overall, I loved the concept of this book, but the pace dragged and not a whole lot happened. That said, I’d defin A serial killer is targeting Black women in Chicago and the police are not doing enough to investigate, so TV news reporter Jordan Manning starts her own investigation. The whole time I was reading this I was reminded of Christine Pelisek, the reporter who broke the Grim Sleeper serial killer story and exposed the LAPD’s blatant disregard for the lives of the Black women he targeted. Overall, I loved the concept of this book, but the pace dragged and not a whole lot happened. That said, I’d definitely read another book in the planned series because Jordan Manning was an engaging, interesting character, and I want to know what she does next. * Thanks to NetGalley and William Morrow for the eARC. This comes out October 26, 2021.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Olivia Law

    Premise of this was awesome, and it pretty much lived up to my expectations! Jordan was a badass main character, and I loved her. Am in a really thrillery kind of mood right now, so this hit the spot. I don't fully understand why the book was titled what it was titled, but I guess that isn't too important. Premise of this was awesome, and it pretty much lived up to my expectations! Jordan was a badass main character, and I loved her. Am in a really thrillery kind of mood right now, so this hit the spot. I don't fully understand why the book was titled what it was titled, but I guess that isn't too important.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Brooke Sillaby

    Round up to 3.5 stars

  28. 5 out of 5

    SS

    This is a story that’s supposed to be a mystery, about a 15 year old girl who is found dead, but it really isn’t. This is more of a story about a Chicago investigative TV reporter, Jordan Manning. I found her to be an obnoxious, self-involved person, one who wants you to think she cares about others, but it’s always all about her. She lies easily, pretends to befriend people she thinks can help her, and takes advantage of everyone she can to get her story. She’s incredibly racist and misandrist. This is a story that’s supposed to be a mystery, about a 15 year old girl who is found dead, but it really isn’t. This is more of a story about a Chicago investigative TV reporter, Jordan Manning. I found her to be an obnoxious, self-involved person, one who wants you to think she cares about others, but it’s always all about her. She lies easily, pretends to befriend people she thinks can help her, and takes advantage of everyone she can to get her story. She’s incredibly racist and misandrist. Yes, she’s black, but it’s clear that she completely dislikes white people and men. She’s whiny and self-important. She’s reckless, impulsive, and unconcerned for her own safety, or anyone else’s. I didn’t like her at all. If all that’s not enough, she not only has a journalism degree, but also has one in forensic science. She’s says she's certified as a crime scene investigator in both Illinois and her home state of Texas. Personally, I find that hard to believe. Even harder to believe is that she carries an official police evidence collection kit in her purse, and she doesn’t hesitate to use it. All I could think was that she was likely invalidating and disqualifying evidence she was collecting without police approval. I mean, is she a reporter, or is she a forensic crime scene investigator? I don’t think she can legitimately be both at the same time. Honestly, if I was a professional journalist, I’d be embarrassed to release a book like this, even an advanced reader copy. I doubt that the author even bothered to proofread the book before turning it into her publisher. It’s filled with misused words, continuity errors, and the writing is immature and amateurish. The characters are primarily stereotypes, and the story often takes melodramatic turns. The names of people, ones who have little involvement in the story, except that Jordan knows them or is friends with them, litter the pages, cluttering up the narrative. I don’t really need to know how she met every one of her friends or acquaintances, or any of the other extraneous information that pops up. Often, the writing has a stream-of-consciousness feeling to it. The dialogue often presents as stilted and forced, offering far more unrequested information than one would naturally offer in conversation. Support characters are flat, not one of them is fleshed out. They’re only there as devices for Jordan’s use. As for the mystery, the author gives away everything as the story develops; there is no big denouement, no dramatic revelation. I wasn’t surprised by anything. Secrets? There aren’t any. Things often either drag or jump out of nowhere. It's a slow read. This would have been a much better book if it had focused on the mystery, not given the surprises away, and kept Jordan Manning in the background. What’s a “liquor lounge”? Or a “music lounge”? I live in Chicago, and I’ve heard of bars and taverns, night clubs, cantinas, saloons, and taprooms. I’ve never heard of a liquor lounge, but it appears multiple times in this book. My kid is a professional musician with lots of friends who are professional musicians, classical and jazz, a racially diverse group; none of them have ever heard of a music lounge. Also, when the author talks about Austin, it wasn’t always clear if she was referring to her hometown of Austin, Texas or the Austin neighborhood of Chicago. Speaking of neighborhoods, if you’re not from the Chicago area, a lot of the towns, neighborhoods, and street names will mean nothing to you, and they will likely draw you out of the story. This is supposed to be the first book in a series. I won’t be seeking out any further installments in the series. I found the writing sub-par and the main character unlikable and impossible to sympathize with. There are so many better books available that are true mysteries with characters that are believable, ones with whom you can commiserate, a plot is better thought out, and writing that is worth your time reading. This book was a massive disappointment. I do not recommend it. Unless major revisions were made in final editing, this book is sorely lacking. Disclaimer: I have never watched Tamron Hall on television, not when she was, apparently, on the news, and not now that she appears to have a talk show. My loyalties lie with a different network than the one with which Ms. Hall is connected. My opinions in this review were influenced only by the characteristics of this book. I received an advanced reader copy of this book from the publisher through Netgalley. I thank them for their generosity, but it had no effect on this review. All opinions in this review reflect my true and honest reactions to reading this book.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Alex Adams

    Note: I received an ARC of this book through a giveaway hosted on Goodreads. I was not compensated for this review, and the opinions expressed here are mine and mine alone. There are a lot of things I appreciate about this book. The first is its commitment to calling out racism in every sphere it touches, from the professional world to media to the criminal justice system. Jordan Manning is determined and unapologetic, two excellent traits in a protagonist and narrator. We're treated to a number Note: I received an ARC of this book through a giveaway hosted on Goodreads. I was not compensated for this review, and the opinions expressed here are mine and mine alone. There are a lot of things I appreciate about this book. The first is its commitment to calling out racism in every sphere it touches, from the professional world to media to the criminal justice system. Jordan Manning is determined and unapologetic, two excellent traits in a protagonist and narrator. We're treated to a number of Jordan's internal digressions and thoughts, showing us how she second-guesses herself in important conversations or sorts out her thoughts. These end up making her relatable, and as the murder of Masey James (not a spoiler, since it's the central motivating event of the book) becomes more and more important to Jordan, it also becomes more important to us as readers. Tamron Hall has developed some great characters to populate her version of Chicago, like Bass, April Murphy, Joey, and Jordan herself. The plot moves at a reasonable pace, and while it does feel a bit by-the-numbers, it's not bad. Then there are the less-successful elements. I mentioned earlier that As The Wicked Watch calls out racism within its setting and scenes, and that it's stronger for that. In many cases, this happens as Jordan is reflecting internally or speaking with other sympathetic characters; her initial conversation with April Murphy about the disproportionate attention given to white murder victims versus Black murder victims is an excellent example. It's these moments which make Jordan feel lived-in, like she's narrating this moment in her life to Tamron Hall for our literary enrichment. However, there are a few instances where this just doesn't work. An early scene with Scott the cameraman comes off clunky, and there's a moment during a staff meeting at Jordan's workplace about three-quarters of the way into the book where one character is such a blatant strawman I'm surprised the scene didn't end with "and then everyone clapped." These moments cheapen the book; they feel almost like twitter clapbacks expressed in paragraph form, and they only deserve mention at all because the other 97% of the time, Tamron Hall gets it very, very right. On another note, the romantic subplot with Thomas was a whole lot of nothing. Jordan seems about as invested in him as I was, which is to say not at all. All I could think about during those scenes was how much I wanted them to be over so Jordan could go back to the interesting work of being a reporter/woman in her late 30's with a robust social life. Overall, this is a strong debut novel, and it sets up a lot of interesting threads for future books in this series. I didn't *love* it, but I liked it, and I'd recommend it for anyone interested in crime fiction or who enjoys books with strong female protagonists. I'll definitely be keeping an eye out for what else Tamron Hall has coming out in the future.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Cat

    If you’re interested in reading a narrative from the perspective of Black female broadcast journalist written by a novelist with first hand experience, then Tamron Hall’s While the Wicked Watch is the novel for you. As a mystery, it’s a good first attempt, but the novel’s focus was more on Jordan Manning and her movement between various communities and her experiences in the liminal spaces of existing in and between multiple communities. This, and Hall’s continual and overt addressing of racism If you’re interested in reading a narrative from the perspective of Black female broadcast journalist written by a novelist with first hand experience, then Tamron Hall’s While the Wicked Watch is the novel for you. As a mystery, it’s a good first attempt, but the novel’s focus was more on Jordan Manning and her movement between various communities and her experiences in the liminal spaces of existing in and between multiple communities. This, and Hall’s continual and overt addressing of racism and sexism throughout the novel, are what make it most interesting and valuable. So, while I did find the plot interesting, what I found most valuable about the novel had less to do with the story arc itself and more to do with the representation of communities (including those linked through proximity, age, race and profession) and the perspective of a Black female journalist. Let’s be real: issues of race and gender in this country are serious and getting folks to confront them when they don’t have to is difficult at best. The complicated interplay between perception and representation of race and gender is especially fraught in the news media, which has enormous power to shape a narrative that favors one perceived reality or another. Here’s a situational example of perceptual bias from the book: when Jordan and her white male cameraman, Scott, are driving around the block he sees three young Black men hanging out on the corner and worries that they’re up to no good. When they pass by again, Jordan points out the CTA bus sign next to them, which Scott had missed. He saw three young Black men and the inherent bias of that race-gender combination was the narrowed lens through which he saw the situation. Jordan, on the other hand, as a Black woman sees three Black men through a wide angle lens. This is a common issue and if you haven’t heard phrases that describe the “offenses” “standing while Black” or “driving while Black” then you need to pay more attention. Significantly, the media has enormous power to shape people’s perception. This awareness is echoed throughout the novel and directly stated in Ch 12: “It reminded me of the power of the job. It’s not about making or breaking someone’s day; it’s the ability to make or break a system that can destroy someone’s life if they are innocent. It’s also about humanizing people and not being used as a weapon against the lesser-thans and the have-nots.” Ultimately, Tamron Hall has written a book that seriously addresses issues of race and gender, particularly in the context of broadcast media, and she does so using a delivery method that will appeal to a larger audience. Fiction, particularly a genre like mystery, will always reach a wider audience than nonfiction. And this is where popular culture has the potential to elicit change. Hall is not subtle in pointing out the issues, but because she entertains her audience, because you can’t help but like Jordan Manning, there’s hope that people will actually think about what she’s saying. Who knows? Maybe the next time they watch the news they’ll wonder about the photos used, the words chosen and they’ll consider a little more critically whose representation of the story is being shown and what is being left out. [I received a free advanced reader’s copy of this novel from William Morrow (an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers) and NetGalley in exchange for an unbiased review.]

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