Veronika Layne Has a Nose for News

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Veronika Layne is a features reporter for a local San Francisco area newspaper, but she is not what you would expect out of your average journalist. Veronika has a tough exterior with many tattoos and piercings à la Girl with the Dragon Tattoo’s Lisbeth. When a famous Hollywood television personality comes to town, in order to shoot an episode of his house-flipping program, a series of unique events occurs that Veronika is just drawn to follow. Television star Marco Carrillo needed a permit to remodel an old historical home, but the Historical Advisory Committee, the group responsible for ensuring the protection of historically significant buildings, denied his request. Things get strange when Carrillo buys up three additional properties in cash, all part of a particular group known as The Giovanni Houses. Further complicating the mystery, Carrillo shows up as a murder victim in his home renovation project. The story takes Veronika on even more unexpected turns as she follows her instincts.

Veronika Layne Has a Nose for News is the second book in the Hot off the Press series. Although her appearance is an edgy one, we learn Veronika actually has a soft heart, and is someone who deals with the same type of struggles as many young professionals in their mid-twenties. Her boyfriend, Aidan, has just moved across the country to New York in order to pursue his journalism career, and, on top of that, she has a boss at work that isn’t allowing her to chase after hard-hitting news pieces. While this should make her relatable to her audience, I don’t feel like I got to know Veronika well enough. This lack of relatability made it tough to sympathize with her. In this book, she was very unsure of herself and insecure, and I didn’t always agree with the decisions she made throughout the novel. As a result, it felt like Veronika’s emotional turmoil was the focal point of the novel, and the mystery of the historic houses secondary.

Reading the other books in the series might bring more insight into Veronika’s character, something I, unfortunately, was not able to do. I was also unsure about who the target audience for this book was supposed to be. To me, it seemed to fall within the lines of a quick teen read, rather than adult, or young adult, suspense. It does go fast, and Veronika definitely has some attitude. Although I did think real depth was lacking in the novel, overall, I’d be curious to see what news story Veronika’s nose follows next.


Reviewed By:

Author Julia Park Tracey
Star Count 3/5
Format Trade
Page Count 136 pages
Publisher Booktrope
Publish Date 28-Aug-2015
ISBN 9781513701769
Amazon Buy this Book
Issue January 2016
Category Mystery, Crime & Thriller
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