Samantha Church is an alcoholic.
Samantha Church’s daughter has been taken away from her.
Samantha Church’s sister is dead.
The Friday Edition certainly starts at the low point in Sam’s life, and just when she thinks things can’t get worse, her sister, Robin, falls to her death – on Christmas Eve. The police rule it to be suicide, but Sam isn’t really buying it. Battling her demons, her ex-husband and an intransigent police department, Sam is determined to discover the truth about her sister. The only people who give her any form of support are her boss at the Grandview Perspective newspaper where she works, her grandmother, and her grandmother’s partner, Howard.
Sam’s journey is certainly a tough one. Luckily, I am not a drinker, but I can imagine how hard it must be to break away from the addiction, especially when your life is crumbling all around you. As the story begins we follow Sam on her investigation to discover the truth behind her sister’s death as well as watching her struggle to resist her demons. As you would expect, she goes backwards almost as many times as she goes forward in this book, but she does go forward. She battles on, and that’s what makes her strong. It took me a while to settle into the book, but as it went along I found myself becoming invested in her character and hoping she would pull through, defeat her demons, get back her daughter, and discover the truth about Robin.
And — SPOILER — that truth is ugly!!
I didn’t fully connect with some of the characters, but I did – if not exactly like Sam – root for her. And as it went along, I think I came to understand her better. She is far from perfect, she has made so many mistakes in her life. She is probably at her core a somewhat selfish person, at least initially at the point the book starts. But you can see her grow as it goes along. Sam begins to change, she begins to put others ahead of herself, others like her sister, her daughter.
At the start of the book we are introduced to a broken woman on a mission. By the end we leave a woman who has refound herself, who is beginning to heal and who has triumphed against the odds. Overall I would say The Friday Edition was well written, fast-paced and quite an emotional read.
4 stars out of 5 from me.
Massive thanks to TheWriteReads and the author for an ecopy of the book in exchange of my honest review.
The Friday Edition by Betta Ferrendelli is the first book in the long running Samantha Church Mystery series.
About Betta Ferrendelli
Betta has been an award-winning journalist since 1989, having worked at newspapers in Denver, Seattle and Albuquerque. When she is not “novelling” as her sister used to say, she writes for a healthcare magazine.
On July 7, 2012, she published The Friday Edition, the first in an award-winning mystery series featuring newspaper reporter Samantha Church. The second book, Revenge is Sweet, published in November 2013 and Dead Wrong, book three, published in January 2015. Cold Case, No. 99-5219, the fourth book in the series, published in January 2018. On the Border, the fifth book in the series, will publish in early 2020.
She also has published two award-winning books in contemporary, women’s fiction: An Invincible Summer in September 2015 and Last Things in November 2016.