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Friday, May 31, 2019

Below The Fold by R.G. Belsky (VBT: Book Review / Contest Giveaway)

In association with Partners In Crime Virtual Book Tours, Jersey Girl Book Reviews is pleased to host the virtual book tour event for Below The Fold by R.G. Belsky!

Book Review

Below The Fold by R.G. Belsky
Book 2: Clare Carlson Mystery Series
Publisher: Oceanview Publishing
Publication Date: May 7, 2019
Format: Paperback - 320 pages
               Kindle - 3813 KB
               Nook - 4 MB
ISBN: 978-1608093243
BNID: 978-1608093250
Genre: Mystery

Buy The Book:

Buy The Series: A Clare Carlson Mystery Series
Book 1: Yesterday's News
Book 2: Below The Fold

Disclaimer: I received a copy of the book from the author/publisher via Edelweiss in exchange for my honest book review and participation in a virtual book tour event hosted by Partners In Crime Virtual Book Tours.

Book Description:

Every human life is supposed to be important. Everyone should matter. But that’s not the case in the cutthroat TV news-rating world where Clare Carlson works. Sex, money, and power sell. Only murder victims of the right social strata are considered worth covering. Not the murder of a “nobody.”

So, when the battered body of a homeless woman named Dora Gayle is found on the streets of New York City, her murder barely gets a mention in the media. But Clare―a TV news director who still has a reporter’s instincts―decides to dig deeper into the seemingly meaningless death. She uncovers mysterious links between Gayle and a number of wealthy and influential figures. There is a prominent female defense attorney; a scandal-ridden ex-congressman; a decorated NYPD detective; and―most shocking of all―a wealthy media mogul who owns the TV station where Clare works. Soon there are more murders, more victims, more questions. As the bodies pile up, Clare realizes that her job, her career, and maybe even her life are at stake as she chases after her biggest story ever.

Book Excerpt:


Every human life is supposed to be important, everyone should matter. That’s what we all tell ourselves, and it’s a helluva noble concept. But it’s not true. Not in the real world. And certainly not in the world of TV news where I work.

Especially when it comes to murder.

Murder is a numbers game for me. It operates on what is sometimes cynically known in the media as the Blonde White Female Syndrome. My goal is to find a murder with a sexy young woman victim to put on the air. Sex sells. Sex, money, and power. That translates into big ratings numbers, which translates into more advertising dollars. These are the only murder stories really worth doing.

The amazing thing to me is not that there is so much news coverage of these types of stories. It’s that there are people who actually question whether they should be big news stories. These critics
dredge up the age-old argument about why some murders get so much more play in the media than all the other murders that happen every day.

I don’t understand these people.

Because the cold, hard truth—and everyone knows this, whether they want to admit it or not—is that not everybody is equal when it comes to murder.

Not in life.

And certainly not in death.

It reminds me of the ongoing debate that happens every time Sirhan Sirhan—the man who killed Robert F. Kennedy—comes up for a parole hearing. There are those who point out that he’s already served fifty years in jail. They argue that many other killers have served far less time before being paroled. Sirhan Sirhan should be treated equally, they say, because the life of Robert F. Kennedy is no more or less important than the life of any other crime victim. Me, I think Sirhan Sirhan should be kept caged up in a four-foot by six-foot cell as long as he lives—which hopefully will be to a hundred so he can suffer every minute of it. For God’s sakes, people, he killed Robert—freakin’—Kennedy!

And so, to those who think that we in the media make too big a deal out of some of these high-profile murder stories, I say that’s completely and utterly ridiculous. I reject that argument completely. I won’t even discuss it.

* *
Now let me tell you something else.

Everything I just said there is a lie.

The truth is there really is no magic formula for murder in the TV news business. No simple way to know from the beginning if a murder story is worth covering or not. No easy answer to the question of how much a human life is worth—or what the impact will be of that person’s death by a violent murder.

When I started out working at a newspaper years ago, I sat next to a veteran police reporter on the overnight shift. There was an old-fashioned wire machine that would print out police slips of murders that happened during the night. Most of them involved down-market victims in bad neighborhoods whose deaths clearly would never make the paper.

But he would dutifully call the police on each one and ask questions like: “Tell me about the body of that kid you found in the Harlem pool room—was he a MENSA candidate or what?” Or, “The woman you found dead in the alley behind the housing project—any chance she might be Julia Roberts or a member of the British Royal Family?”

I asked him once why he even bothered to make the calls since none of these murders seemed ever worth writing about in the paper.

“Hey, you never know,” he said.

It was good advice back then, and it still is today. I try to teach it to all my reporters in the TV newsroom that I run now. Check every murder out. Never assume anything about a murder story. Follow the facts and the evidence on every murder—on every crime story—because you can never be certain where that trail might take you.

Okay, I don’t always follow my own advice in the fast-paced, ratings-obsessed world of TV news where I make my living.

And usually it does turn out to be just a waste of time.

But every once in a while, well . . .

Hey, you never know.

My Book Review:

In Below The Fold, the second book in the Clare Carlson Mystery Series, author R.G. Belsky weaves a riveting mystery tale that easily draws the reader in as New York Channel 10 News Director Clare Carlson investigates the connection between two murder cases that involve high profile New Yorkers.

The story begins with the "below the fold" (news that do not get top play on the front page or TV coverage) murder case of fifty-four year old homeless woman Dora Gayle. Clare wants to find out the real story behind the sad and tragic life of the homeless woman who called herself Cinderella. While Clare is digging into Dora's past, thirty-three year old stockbroker Grace Mancuso was found beaten to death in her Upper East Side apartment. Grace's murder is top news because the murderer left a note mentioning four high profile New Yorkers and homeless woman Dora Gayle! Clare is determined to find the connection between the two murdered women and the other four people. Could they be next on the murderer's hit list, or could one of them possibly be the murderer?

As Clare delves into the investigation she finds that there are more questions than answers, a growing list of suspects, deeply buried secrets, and the intertwining of Clare's personal and professional lives and her dark past that continues to come to the surface.

Below The Fold is a captivating and gritty mystery tale that is rich in detail and vivid descriptions. It has enough intriguing and suspenseful twists and turns that leaves the reader with no other option than to keep turning the pages to find out what happens next. As a diehard fan of mystery tales, I must admit that this story exceeded my expectations. The complexity of the two murder cases and Clare's investigation kept me thoroughly riveted and so engrossed, I couldn't help but try and guess the identity of the murderer as Clare tries to put all the pieces of the puzzle together.

With a complex and realistic cast of characters, the author does a phenomenal job of transporting the reader into this fast-paced white-knuckle storyline. The thrilling cat-n-mouse game engages the reader to follow Clare's investigation as she tries to establish the connection between the high profile New Yorkers with Dora and Grace, and who was responsible for their deaths. The jaw-dropping surprise ending will leave the reader completely speechless. It just doesn't get any better than this!

Below The Fold is one heck of an adrenaline rush that is a must-read for the true diehard mystery junkies!


About The Author

R. G. Belsky is an author of crime fiction and a journalist in New York City. His newest mystery, Below The Fold, is being published in May 2019 by Oceanview. It is the second in a series featuring Clare Carlson, the news director for a New York City TV station. The first Clare Carlson book, YESTERDAY’S NEWS, came out in 2018. Belsky previously wrote the Gil Malloy series – THE KENNECONNECTIONION, SHOOTING FOR THE STARS AND BLONDE ICE – about a newspaper reporter at the New York Daily News. Belsky himself is a former managing editor at the Daily News and writes about the media from an extensive background in newspapers, magazines and TV/digital news. He has also been a top editor at the New York Post, Star magazine and NBC News. Belsky won the Claymore Award at Killer Nashville in 2016. He has finished as a Finalist for both the Silver Falchion and David Awards. And his first Clare Carlson book, YESTERDAY’S NEWS, was named Outstanding Crime/News Based Novel by Just Reviews in 2018 and was a Finalist for Best Mystery of 2018 in the Foreword INDIES Awards. His previous suspense/thriller novels include LOVERBOY and PLAYING DEAD. Belsky lives in New York City.

Author Website
Amazon Author Page

Contest Giveaway

Win A $20 Amazon Gift Card

This is a rafflecopter giveaway hosted by Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours for R.G. Belsky. There will be one (1) giveaway winner. One winner will receive one (1) Gift Card. The giveaway begins on May 1, 2019 and runs through June 2, 2019. Void where prohibited. 

Virtual Book Tour

Tour Schedule:

05/01/19 Review @ CMash Reads

05/03 Review @ Cheryls Book Nook

05/04 Interview @ A Blue Million Books

05/06 Review & Guest post @ Books Chatter

05/07 Blog Talk Radio w/Fran Lewis

05/07 Review @ Just Reviews

05/08 Interview @ Quiet Fury Books

05/09 Guest post @ Loris Reading Corner

05/10 Showcase @ Mythical Books

05/11 Review @ The Literary Apothecary

05/12 Showcase @ Read and Review

05/13 Review @ Book Reviews From an Avid Reader

05/14 Showcase @ Eclectic Moods

05/14 Showcase @ The Pulp and Mystery Shelf

05/15 Guest post @ The Magic Of Wor(l)ds

05/16 Review @ Wall-to-wall books

05/17 Showcase @ Just Books

05/20 Showcase @ The Bookworm Lodge

05/22 Showcase @ Reading A Page Turner

05/23 Showcase @ The Reading Frenzy

05/24 Review @ Nessie"s Place

05/26 Review @ Reading by Moonlight

05/28 Review @ Love My Dane Dolly

05/29 Review @ Cy Wyss -- Author and Artist

05/30 @ Review @ Books Chatter

05/30 Showcase @ Celticladys Reviews

05/31 Review @ Jersey Girl Book Reviews


  1. I agree! Both books were hard to put down. And I'm sure, like me, we can't wait for the next book in this series!

    1. Hi Cheryl! This is a great series, can't wait to read the next book.