Editorial Review: The Broadcast - A Mystery Thriller
What would it be like to watch historical events the way they actually unfolded, long before the invention of video-recording technology? Fialkov’s riveting mystery thriller, The Broadcast, brings this interesting premise to life.
When the TXB Television Network begins airing a mysterious new production, everyone in the country is riveted to their TV screens. The show’s premiere presents black-and-white silent aerial footage of a crime committed 25 years ago, putting to rest years of speculation surrounding the crime. The Broadcast continues to aid the police in previously unsolved cases before turning its focus to history, showing footage of major historical events throughout the centuries. Naturally, many people doubt the authenticity of these videos, leading to great controversy and even danger for Walter, the show’s producer.
The Broadcast TV show may be at the center of this book, but it is far from being the only plot line. The story features a variety of characters whose lives are all somehow intermingled. For example, the protagonist Sarah is raped by an unknown assailant and forced to give her son Michael up for adoption, and the two of them long to find each other as their lives move on. Each of the characters face their own inner struggles, and as they seek to resolve these conflicts, their lives draw ever closer together.
Fialkov manages brilliantly to build momentum throughout the entire book, with enough suspense to keep you turning the pages until the very end. Even the use of several different plotlines doesn’t seem to break the pace. Fialkov is especially skilled in describing the setting, characters, and action with the perfect amount of detail—enough that it’s memorable and draws the audience in, but not so much that it distracts from the ever-moving plot.
That said, the writing isn’t without its flaws. At times, the dialogue seems overly formal and contrived. While some plot lines are developed at an optimal speed, others feel like they are rushed and revealed too quickly with little mystery. Then there are times when the reader is well aware of how things are connected, but has to wait patiently for the characters to “catch up” and discover it on their own.
The biggest hurdle this book needs to overcome, however, deals with the suspension of disbelief. The whole concept of The Broadcast is original and fascinating, but it’s also quite far-fetched and sure to incite skepticism. The public’s reaction to the program comes across far too casual and that, along with a couple of other logical gaps in the plot, makes the story feel less realistic.
If you’re looking for a riveting novel that is shrouded in mystery and will draw you in with vivid details, then The Broadcast is a fabulous choice. Just be aware that you’ll have to look past certain shortcomings as you rush to keep turning the pages.