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Deep Background - Book Review

Deep Background


Author: Rick Treon
Genre: Fiction - Suspense
Date Published: December 6, 2018
ISBN-10: 1684331676
ISBN-13: 9781684331673

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Book Review of :  Deep Background



Deep Background by Rick Treon and published by Black Rose Writing begins with a meeting of two reporters, Katherine Hallaway and Levi Cole who had years prior been co-workers in the same small Texas Panhandle town.
Now, Katherine Hallaway or "Kat" as her friends call her, is a local reporter in Amarillo, Texas for the Amarillo Morning Standard and Levi Cole is the chief investigative reporter for the Dallas Daily Star.  The gruesome murder of a woman named RayLynn Gutierrez becomes the catalyst that pulled these two individuals with tumultuous history back together again. Since the time they spent together in Amarillo, Cole had risen from a minor sports reporter to the role of an investigative reporter. An anonymous tip about a dirty politician had launched him into the big time and cost the politician his future.
Hallaway’s career had gone in the opposite direction. She was on the verge of being let go, if she couldn’t generate better stories for the Amarillo Morning Standard. Her readership was dismal, and she needed something more than the details of Amarillo‘s latest fender bender. Oddly things suddenly go south for Cole also.
The body of a teenage woman is found in a field in Bison Ridge and suddenly the Amarillo Morning Standard has a big story. The murder and the circumstances around it would rivet the imagination of her readers. Not only was it the murder of a young teenage girl but it was also a case where the body had been mutilated.  The killer was making some sort of statement but what was it and would there be more murders? The young girl who had been murdered was RayLynn Gutierrez a high school student reporter, and first amendment champion. Now Hallaway has a story to report on, RayLynn's murder, a murder with a twist.
There is a lot of things going on in the novel. Hallaway is married but she still has a thing for her old flame, Levi Cole, and a little cheating here-and-there is acceptable. Her husband has cheated so why shouldn’t she. Hallaway discovers that the murdered high school reporter had discovered something that certain important people would not want to be exposed. Was she killed because of her discovery?   Should she continue the investigation that RayLynn Gutierrez had started?
As the story races along we meet several of Kat and Levi's old high school alumni. While Levi and Kat work through their difficulties from the past, they try to find the truth behind the untimely death of RayLynn and expose the killer. Along the way we meet Vista County Sheriff Shawn Nichols, a self-asserted celebrity of the county, Congressman Ace Anderson, a "Shark” in politics and more,  Ace's Chief of Staff Hunter Matthews, and Texas Ranger Elliott Dawson a homespun good guy, to name a few of Treon's colorful characters. In a brief amount of time, Treon crafts his story with several interesting twists that lure in the reader and demand their attention.
When the killer kidnaps Kat it becomes a race to the end to see if Levi Cole can save her, the love of his life, before she ends up like RayLynn. The stunning information and "Deep Background" that we learn during this episode of the story glued my eyes to the Kindle and kept me hanging on till the very end.    
 With today's fast-paced news cycle many readers may find it interesting how Treon uses his background in reporting to show an insider’s view of the newsroom and how sources are used and protected. Treon also allows us a glimpse as to how the digital age has changed reporting and the pressures that reporters are under to get views for their stories.  Deep Background is a book to read. I guarantee if you are into suspense, this will be the book for you.  


About Rick Treon


Rick Treon is a former newspaper reporter and editor. After graduating from The University of Texas at Austin with a bachelor's degree in journalism, Rick worked as a reporter for the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, as a reporter and editor at the Amarillo Globe-News, and was the managing editor of The Kerrville Daily Times. He now lives and writes in Texas.





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