Scoop of the Year by Tom Claver

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Scoop of the Year by Tom Claver

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Category: Thrillers
Rating: 4/5
Reviewer: Jill Murphy
Reviewed by Jill Murphy
Summary: Very witty thriller with a wonderful ending that I didn't see coming and wager you won't, either. The protagonist, a journalist, is somewhat compromised but you'll root for him anyway.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 363 Date: November 2017
Publisher: Troubador
External links: Author's website
ISBN: 978-1788036221

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Martin is an ambitious journalist working on the Financial Review. Martin is good at his job - accurate, dedicated, hardworking and with a good nose for a scoop. But Martin is also uninterested in the culture that comes with reporting. He has a wife and two daughters at home and he doesn't want to waste time and money in the pub, talking macho nonsense with the other hacks. He is a far cry from his colleague Tom de Lacy, a charismatic, silver-spooned charmer with piercing blue eyes. Tom doesn't just grab the limelight though - he also grabs the promotion to industrial correspondent. And that is the job Martin not only wanted but needed.

Things spiral downward for Martin after losing out on the promotion. While Tom's star rises to the point of landing a plum job in television, Martin's sinks to the detriment of his career and his marriage. So when a possible scandal story about a pharmaceutical company comes Martin's way, he is determined to turn it into something worthwhile and rescue his floundering prospects...

... but can he manage it, with a family crisis unfolding in the background?

I thoroughly enjoyed Scoop of the Year. The book packs a great deal of plot and action into roughly three hundred and fifty pages - Claver blends Martin's rivalry with Tom de Lacey, chasing a corporate scandal and a family drama worthy of the most popular TV soap without ever losing sight of each strand. He writes directly and with an admirable lack of stuffiness. I like this no-nonsense approach to the narrative especially in thrillers, where events count more than anything else. The dialogue is also very good - never stilted and often very witty. There are some excellent throwaway lines that will make you laugh. All in all, Scoop of the Year is a smooth, absorbing and engaging read.

I liked Martin. By the end of Scoop of the Year, he is a somewhat compromised central character but you can't help but root for him. He's treated unjustly - and with a good dollop of old-fashioned British classism - at the beginning of the book but he keeps on trying, both to succeed as a journalist and to do the best for his family. He might be flawed but Martin is, at heart, a good guy.

I don't want to ruin the book by saying too much lest I give it all away, but I will say that I loved the ending. I wasn't expecting it and it really made me think. It's a big reveal but not the type of reveal you'll be expecting. I trust that's suitably enticing and mysterious for you, Bookbaggers!

A satisfying read for all fans of complicated conspiracy thrillers.

If you like thrillers featuring journalists or ex-journalists, you might also enjoy Paying For It by Tony Black. For more from big pharma, try Venom by Joan Brady. We also have a review of Hider/Seeker by Tom Claver.

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Buy Scoop of the Year by Tom Claver at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Scoop of the Year by Tom Claver at Amazon currently charges £2.99 for standard delivery for orders under £20, over which delivery is free.

Buy Scoop of the Year by Tom Claver at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Scoop of the Year by Tom Claver at


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