The network newsroom is familiar turf to Yolanda Joe, who's both a newswriter at CBS/Chicago and a novelist (Bebe's by Golly Wow, 1998, etc.). So it's no surprise that Joe's pseudonymous mystery debut looks inside the tripped-out world of WJIV Channel 8, where news director Halo ("Bing") Bingington plays love-you/hate-you with his hassled staff. But once homegirl Georgia Barnett gets a hot lead, she wants all the follow-up, too. When Bing tries to pull her off the disappearance of Butter Johnson, eight-year-old witness to a drive-by shooting—first to cover a missing child in Hyde Park, and later to substitute for high-profile pretty boy Brent Manning—Georgia sticks to her case like cheese on grits. She gets tight with the Johnson family, who threaten to clam up for any other reporter, and even tighter with fine-looking detective Doug Eckart, who gives her inside info on the battle between the Rock disciples and the Bandits that triggered the shooting. But Doug is too set on solving the case—and protecting Georgia—to share his best stuff, so Georgia goes solo, following a ransom demand to a deserted garage, talking with the gangbangers' relatives, tracing the ransom call, and putting herself closer and closer to the line of fire.
Despite the title, there are all too few details here. Like most talking heads, Georgia fills the whole screen. And smart and sassy as she is, she can't do it all her own. Here's hoping Garland takes another peek into WJIV—this time, with more tech support.