Matt Witten has written a wonderful mystery in his new book, Killer Story, which not only involves a murder mystery, but a detailed look at new journalism. The book is about 2 girls who became friends in their early teenage years. One went to UCLA to become a journalist while the younger of the two went to Harvard and while there became an alternate right wing YouTube presenter. Petra Kovich graduated from UCLA with her degree in journalism when she found out that her friend had been murdered in her dorm room at Harvard University. There was a trial which led to an acquittal of the main suspect. A few years have passed and Petra has been let go from numerous jobs in the newspaper industry and finds herself in Boston working for a newspaper that also appears to be floundering and that she will be one of the people who will be let go. To save her job she proposes a podcast to try to find and expose the real killer.
This is the wonderful premise of Killer Story because not only do we have Petra’s attempt to find out who killed her friend Livvy, but we find her trying to save her job in the world of new journalism which includes YouTube and podcasts. The pressure is great because each week must bring a new episode that will intrigue her followers and lead to the discovery of the murderer. She quickly focuses on one individual who she thinks could be the killer and in Episode One she makes her claim. Unfortunately she has the wrong person. Before she could fully investigate the potential killers a new episode had to come out. The newspaper pressures her for more details and more potential killers, along the way careers were threatened and lives were ruined.
Competing journalists who want the glory of breaking the news, Petra is even removed from her own podcast, and yet no one can find out exactly who was the killer. While the book eventually leads us to the killer, the bigger story is the rise of new journalism, the lack of ethics and morals in this media, and the fact that everyone is trying to out scoop everyone else, and when you must do this at least once a week it will lead to mistakes, errors, broken promises, and it paints a bleak picture for this era of new journalism with no editors and no real oversight. This is a wonderful book that I thoroughly enjoyed and heartily recommend to one and all. Matt Whitten is a fine author and screenwriter and Killer Story is a truly great read!