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As co-anchor of St. Louis' evening news show Nightbeat , Joan Carpenter has seen it all. She deals with a news director who will do anything to boost ratings. She puts up with cutthroat TV critics. And she can even handle a jealous co-anchor eager to see her fall on her face. She's beautiful, tough, savvy....and very scared. For there's one thing Joan can't control - "The Watcher," an obsessive fan whose flow of sick letters reveals dangerous erotic fantasies with Joan at the center...an ardent admirer who seems ...
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Overview

As co-anchor of St. Louis' evening news show Nightbeat , Joan Carpenter has seen it all. She deals with a news director who will do anything to boost ratings. She puts up with cutthroat TV critics. And she can even handle a jealous co-anchor eager to see her fall on her face. She's beautiful, tough, savvy....and very scared. For there's one thing Joan can't control - "The Watcher," an obsessive fan whose flow of sick letters reveals dangerous erotic fantasies with Joan at the center...an ardent admirer who seems to know her every move...a twisted psycopath who will eliminate anything - or anyone - in an effort to get closer to Joan than just the pictures at eleven. And when Joan decides to strike back at the warped dreams of her number one fan, she becomes the target of a mad killer's deadliest desires.

This tantalizing novel - told entirely with faxes, phones messages, memos and e-mail - is an ingenious high tech thriller of dark imagination that shocks at every turn and withholds its secrets until the very end.

Told entirely through faxes, phone messages, memos, e-mail and tape transcripts, this pulse-pounding thriller brings the novel into the electronic age with a jolt. Eavesdrop on the tantalizing correspondence of a TV anchorwoman who is being stalked by a crazed fan known only as The Watcher.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Told entirely through faxes, phone conversations, letters, police memos, E-mail and taped conversations, this wickedly entertaining thriller brings the epistolary novel into the electronic age with a jolt. Joan Carpenter, assertive, high-strung TV news anchor in St. Louis, starts receiving creepy, literate, sexually suggestive crank letters from a nut who calls himself ``The Watcher.'' When Joan, at the insistence of her ratings-obsessed boss Charlie Fishwater, opens a package sent by The Watcher on the air, the show's ratings skyrocket and the police suspect Joan of being an accomplice. As The Watcher's stunts turn deadly, suspicion falls on Joan's gardener, her surgeon, her boyfriend, even Fishwater. Munson ( Nothing Human ) portrays these voices perfectly as he does such others as Joan's psychiatrist sister, her supportive agent and her old-fashioned mom. Interwoven throughout is biting commentary on tabloid television, on the way TV shapes American reality and on the loss of face-to-face contact in our impersonal electronic age, but mostly this is a fast-paced spellbinder that will keep readers turning the pages into the wee hours. BOMC alternate. (Aug.)
Richard Paul Snyder
This tale of a TV anchorwoman who is being hounded by a weird fan is delightfully intriguing. Told entirely through fax, E-mail, tape transcripts, phone messages, memos, and fan mail, it begins like this: Gorgeous, brawny newscaster Joan Carpenter is brought in from Dallas to boost sagging ratings at a St. Louis station. The ratings-crazed boss, Charles Fishwater, and her cloddish, on-the-way-out coanchor resent this golden girl from the get-go. Local TV critic Tom Kline gets on Joan's case, too, ruffling neuroses. Then the weirdo fan, who calls himself The Watcher, decides the lady needs help in the ratings department, so he sends Joan a package that she must open only on the air. She does. The contents are not nice, but they boost ratings. Oh, do they ever! The Watcher turns lethal, of course, and suspects abound: Joan's new boyfriend, her gardener, a surgeon--even Fishwater. Supporting the anchor in her hour of need are her old-fashioned mom, shrink sis, and health-fixated agent. Sharing equal billing with the stylish plot is the author's incisive depiction of the yellow journalism that pervades today's TV news. Not overly ambitious but smooth, upmarket, and ratings conscious.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780451404824
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 8/1/1994
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Pages: 416
  • Product dimensions: 4.28 (w) x 6.88 (h) x 1.14 (d)

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