Book: A Bad Day’s Work

A Bad Day’s Work by Nora McFarland
Reviewed by Lori Twichell
Genre: mystery, comedy, romance
Publisher: Touchstone
Publication Dates: August 3, 2010

I thought I was the only person in the world who had really bad days at work. I’ve had work days involving sick kids and failed attempts at housetraining a dog….those were bad days at work, but they’ve been nothing compared to Lilly Hawkins and her bad day at work. Her bad day involved a lot of murder, death, beating, extortion, frame ups and gang warfare. And that was in like ten minutes. (Okay well maybe not, but it does seem that way for a while!)

Lilly is a photojournalist who, for some reason, has been having a lot of mess ups at work lately. Though they’re minor things, they’re still enough to be annoying to her and for her co-workers to start choosing other people for their teams. All of the hard work she’s put in over the past years has begun to crumble and it’s starting to eat away at her. So when she gets the chance at a hot breaking news story, she jumps at it. Knowing that this is likely a last chance at redemption for her job, she sneaks around the police tape and gets right into the crime scene. Unfortunately, she isn’t able to get much footage, but what she does get is golden.

When she arrives back at the station, she’s proud of what she’s gotten until they put the tape in the machine and everything is black. After her string of mistakes in the recent past, everyone believes that she’s accidentally made a rookie mistake that wouldn’t allow her to record. She even wonders how it’s possible that something like this happens. And then she gets home, gets beat up, threatened, nearly killed, followed, beat up again and…yeah. The day goes downhill from there.

An engaging mystery with interesting characters, A Bad Day’s Work is a fun read with twists and turns that will keep you guessing. Lilly Hawkins is funny, interesting, and someone that would totally fit into my circle of friends. The characters that populate the story are quirky and weird and exactly the sort of off the wall people that you meet every day. At one point I did wonder if she knew anyone who was really ‘normal’ but then again, normal is a relative concept. And in the television news industry, there might just be more weird than normal.

The story was fast paced (sometimes mind bogglingly so) and fun enough to keep me delightfully entertained the entire time I was reading. No downtime in Lilly Hawkins life and no slow times in this story. This was a fun read for a weekend. I enjoyed the adventure and the mystery and would recommend it for anyone who loves a fun, light mystery.

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