A senator’s wife may have more invested in the campaign than just her good name. Can a reporter uncover the truth before she becomes the next target?
Investigative journalist Erica Sparks thinks it’s her job to introduce the candidates for the upcoming presidential election on her show, The Erica Sparks Effect. It’s not just for ratings, though Erica has recently been reminded by GNN execs that she can’t live forever off the success of her past investigations (The Newsmakers, 2016, etc.). While she’s covering the final Democratic debate between Sen. Mike Ortiz and Gov. Fred Buchanan, a bomb explodes, sending Erica and her viewers into shock. Erica is determined to live up to her job title and find out whether this was a random act of violence or evidence of something greater and more sinister. She’s certain that the senator’s wife, Celeste Pierce Ortiz, has more information than she’s sharing. When she presses Celeste, the two engage in a game of cat and mouse in which Erica’s belief that she has the upper hand may be unfounded. On top of this, Erica, who’s won full-time custody of her daughter, Jenny, knows she needs to hire someone to lighten the load. Will hiring an intern from the show help bridge the gap or make it greater? She wishes she could confide in her fiance, Greg, though he’s working his own 24/7 shift in Australia. Will Erica uncover Celeste’s secret or become another pawn in Celeste’s apparently mind-controlled army?
Though it’s easy to enter and savor the wholly fictional world of politicians driving, and driven by, the media, Wiehl’s plot is well-worn and derivative, with a predictable ending unworthy of her plucky heroine.