Bad Boy Beat

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Pub Date 7 May 2024 | Archive Date 30 Apr 2024

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A page-turning journalistic thriller starring a rookie female reporter for the Boston Standard who’s determined to chase down a big story…with potentially deadly consequences.

Boston Standard journalist Emily – Em – Kelton is desperate for a big story. As a new reporter Em covers the police beat, which has her responding to every crime that comes across the newsroom scanner. Despite the drudgery and the largely nocturnal hours, it’s a beat that suits her – especially with her affinity for the low-level criminals she regularly interacts with and what she considers a healthy scepticism for the rules.

But she’s sick of filing short news briefs about random street murders that barely merit a byline, and when she sets out to cover yet another shooting of a low-level dealer, she begins to wonder if these crimes are somehow connected.

With not much to go on but her instincts, Em sets out to uncover the truth behind these sordid crimes. But the more she investigates and uncovers a pattern, the more she digs herself into a hole from which she might not come out of alive . . .

Drawing on her career as a journalist, Clea Simon delivers a fast-paced, intricate plot and intriguing characters that bring the city of Boston to life. Mystery fans who love a strong female protagonist, unexpected twists and turns and a mind-blowing ending won’t want to miss Bad Boy Beat!

A page-turning journalistic thriller starring a rookie female reporter for the Boston Standard who’s determined to chase down a big story…with potentially deadly consequences.

Boston Standard...

Advance Praise

“Fast-paced and deeply satisfying . . . Simon is at the height of her considerable powers. The prose here is propulsive, stylish, and pleasingly spare, with narrating crime reporter Emily Kelton’s voice sliding often into noir territory. Bad Boy Beat is a top-notch read, securing Simon’s position as one of the sharpest voices working in crime fiction today”
Linda L. Richards, award-winning author of the Endings series

“Fast-paced and deeply satisfying . . . Simon is at the height of her considerable powers. The prose here is propulsive, stylish, and pleasingly spare, with narrating crime reporter Emily Kelton’s...

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ISBN 9781448313044
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Average rating from 8 members

Featured Reviews

I first read Clea Simon's cozy mystery series, which I absolutely loved, so I was so excited to read this new book.

Bad Boy Cleat is a fantastic book that I couldn't put down.

Emily (Em) is a low-level journalist at the Boston Standard working the police beat just waiting for her big story. She shows up at every crime scene trying to get the scoop. I really loved Em's diligence and determination, such a well written, complex character.

Em sees several killings that she thinks are connected to a drug dealer.
She investigates and digs deeper and deeper, maybe too deep.

Bad Boy Beat is such a great crime fiction novel. The story is fantastic, and the characters are well written.

Highly recommend!

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Review: Bad Boy Beat by Clea Simon

I have long loved Clea Simon's cat mysteries, for the way she creates believable furry creatures able to materialize through walls, read humans' minds, and more, all in aid of helping out their person. But rookie reporter Emily Kelton doesn't need anyone's help in Simon's new noir mystery, Bad Boy Beat.

Assigned to the police beat while on probation at the Boston Standard, Em Kelton dutifully does her best with late night fires and low-level street crime. But she wants a big story. The murder of a small-time dealer barely merits a notice in the paper, but something about this death after a similar one nags at the rookie. She knows some of these guys, dealers and low-lifes, and they hardly seem dangerous enough to anyone to warrant murder. Em shares her doubts with her friend, Roz, who works the City Hall bureau, and is investigating rumors of high-level corruption.

Simon fleshes out the office, with Saul, city editor and her boss; the old-timers who resent her; Ruggle, City Hall bureau chief who may have a crush on her and who is her friend Roz's boss; and Noah Borelli, another City Hall reporter. Not waiting politely in the wings are the co-op students, there to help out with the scut work. The bright light in all this jockeying for position and bare-knuckled ambition is handsome Inspector Jack Harcourt, who jokes and flirts and occasionally gives Em something extra for her stories.

The story takes off on page one, and the action never lets up. Em probes her contacts, a low-life dealer, stays on the heels of the police, and trades tips and story ideas with Roz while Inspector Harcourt stonewalls her. To make matters worse, as Em's own story heats up, the other newspaper in town steps up too, with a new hire who seems to know more than Em.

Keeping up with this rookie is a challenge as she careens around Boston on the T, in her car, on foot. Simon knows the city well and makes good use of her experience here. Bad Boy Beat is a non-stop dive into the unadorned world of crime, the unglamorous world of turning out a newspaper day after day, and the life of one indefatigable, intrepid reporter with a sharp tongue and shrewd eye.

This is one of Simon's best.

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I am a bit of a fan of this author's Blackie and Care series of books so I was eager to see what she did with a more conventional mystery. And I wasn't disappointed at all...
The story features rookie Boston Standard reporter Emily "Em" Kelton who is currently working the crime beat, and we follow her as she actively responds to every crime she hears on the Police Scanner. After being "called" to a few "random" street murders, she starts to believe that they are connected. A belief that is NOT shared by the local police. Especially her homicide detective sort-of contact Inspector Jack Harcourt, who she also has a bit of a crush on! To complete our trio of main characters, we also have Roz who works the City Hall Bureau and who feeds her tidbits...
This is a messy book, and I mean that in a very positive way. Em flits around various crime scenes, various drinking dens, and various other places, in order to sniff out the truth of what she believes is going on. And that in itself is the messy part. The clarity coming later when she tries to sort the wheat from the chaff and put it all together. Which obviously she eventually does. It's action packed all the way through culminating in a wholly satisfying, albeit quite shocking ending.
There is quite a lot (but not too much) of scene setting, character introductions, and foundation laying which all lead me to wonder if this is the start of a new series of books. I for one would be up for that, definitely.
My thanks go to the Publisher and Netgalley for the chance to read this book.

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A nice start to a new series featuring Em Kelton, a reporter working the police beat in Boston. She's on probation and she wants to get the real scoop so when she puts together info leading her to believe crimes are linked, she's off and running. This is nicely atmospheric, not just with regard to Boston but also in the newsroom. Simon is a veteran cozy writer- this is a welcome step forward. Thanks to Netgalley for the ARC. A very good read and I'm now looking forward to the next one.

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I really liked Emily. She's a rookie reporter on the crime beat for a Boston paper. She has great instincts (though blinded by a handsome boy) and sees a connection to several shootings that no one thought had to do with one another. She is tough and there's not much that will scare her off.

I have to admit that while it might seem a bit slow to others, I felt this was a page turner! I just had to see how this all came together and admit that I was blown away by a party of the ending...I just didn't expect a certain plot point at all.

I would definitely read another book by this author!

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Gritty. This book has such great atmosphere. It’s like a noir detective novel except instead of a detective it’s a hard boiled female newspaper writer.

Em is on the crime beat in Boston. She is covering what seems to be random low level criminal shootings, but things start adding up to more than meets the eye.

Em has a police detective in her pocket and an ex that knows his way around the streets of Boston crime. Are these two “bad boys” helping or keeping Em away from the truth?

There are nice twists in this one and Em is a character that is a keeper!

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Fast-paced, intriguing and suspenseful.
I love strong female characters and Em was a fesity and complex heroine, I just loved her character. A great mystery that will keep you at the edge of your seat.

Thank you Suzy Approved Book Tours for this tour invite.

𝗕𝗮𝗱 𝗕𝗼𝘆 𝗕𝗲𝗮𝘁 by Clea Simon released May 7, 2024.

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