Saturday, May 9, 2020

Book Review: 'The Broadcast: A Mystery Thriller' by Liam Fialkov

The Broadcast by Liam Fialkov

‘The media had called it “the Trial from the Movies” ‘

California author Liam Fialkov is also ‘a poet, a musician, a dreamer, and an anthropologist.’ He combines these elements to create a very strange story that embraces disturbing issues in a manner that makes the reader involved and more aware of the influences of contemporary culture. 

The influence of the media is a focal point Liam alludes to in the opening pages – ‘Optimism prevailed at the TBX Television Network headquarters in anticipation of the upcoming evening’s event. As a result of the unique video clip that fell into their hands, the senior managers predicted the highest ratings in the corporation’s history. The advertising department built up viewer’s expectations for the upcoming evening’s event. During three weeks, they bombarded the airwaves with trailers that promised a TV program the likes of which had never been seen on the small screen. As the hour of broadcast approached, excitement grew and spread throughout the country – on the streets, in stores, at fast food restaurants, and in gyms. People rushed home to catch what promised to be an earth-shattering broadcast. A quarter of a century had passed since the killing that riled the nation Still, the consequences of that murder trial – which bore all the makings of a quintessential Hollywood production – had yet to fade, and the emotional wounds it inflicted upon different segments of the population never completely healed. The trial, saturated with emotions and unpredictable twists, captivate people all over the country. It involved fame, wealth, power, sex, and interracial tension.’

So where does this suspenseful teaser lead us? ‘Two decades after nuns collaborated in seizing Sarah’s newborn baby, she continues to mourn his loss. But when she senses an unexplainable connection to a new TV show called "The Broadcast," she has a bizarre feeling that it may lead her to her lost son. Sarah watches with awe as “The Broadcast” not only cracks unsolved cases, but it airs actual footage of historical events going back 2,000 years. While a renowned journalist works tirelessly to prove the strange records are a hoax, Sarah hopes the program finally answers her most pressing questions. As she hunts for answers, the show begins to reveal a shattering secret that could threaten the perception of her and humanity’s entire history. As the world tunes in, will Sarah finally discover the truth?’ Prepare for a shocking twist at book’s end.

Liam blends paranormal aspects into this engrossing thriller and while his story is not meant to be a comment on contemporary society’s habituation to social media and reliance on dissected fragments of news, the message is there – making this doubly entertaining to read! 

Editor's note: This review has been published with the permission of Grady Harp. Like what you read? Subscribe to the SFRB's free daily email notice so you can be up-to-date on our latest articles. Scroll up this page to the sign-up field on your right.