Goodreads: Bury the Lede
Publish date: 08 October 2019
Publisher: BOOM! Studios
Genre: Crime Thriller, Mystery, Graphic Novel, LGBTQ+
Twenty-one-year-old Madison T. Jackson is already the star of the Emerson College student newspaper when she nabs a coveted night internship at Boston’s premiere newspaper, The Boston Lede. The job’s simple: do whatever the senior reporters tell you to do, from fetching coffee to getting a quote from a grieving parent. It’s gruelling work, so when the murder of a prominent Boston businessman comes up on the police scanner, Madison races to the scene of the grisly crime. There, Madison meets the woman who will change her life forever: prominent socialite Dahlia Kennedy, who is covered in gore and being arrested for the murder of her family. The newspapers put everyone they can in front of her with no results until, with nothing to lose, Madison gets a chance – and unexpectedly barrels headfirst into danger she never anticipated.
I love discovering new graphic novels and I requested this because the cover hooked my interest, plus I don’t think never read a crime noir graphic novel/comic before! Bury the Lede was mostly what I anticipated it to be, although there were some elements that really grated on my nerves and that’s what made me only give it three stars.
The artwork was fantastic–it was very noir, lent a dark, almost gothic, vibe and very much suited the storyline. The work reminded me a little of the older comics where the drawings and characters were a little bit on the ‘rough’ side and all the characters weren’t perfectly lined and were drawn realistically. The character’s expressions and traits were very strongly displayed throughout the story, and overall I thought the illustrator did a great job of bringing the setting and characters to life.
The storyline was also pretty interesting. I liked the murder mystery that Madison Jackson, our MC, investigates. I was certainly kept on my toes, racing through the story and following the breadcrumb trail to figure out what was happening. I was initially confused by what was being investigated and when it was fully explained at the end I thought there were a few plot holes/jumps that made the story unbelievable (or at least it left me scratching my head a little thinking about how unlikely it was). But it didn’t take away too much from my enjoyment of the story. Another aspect that I thought was well done was the representation of POC and LGBTQ+ characters. The MC was Asian-American and the story had a nice diverse cast of characters. Many of the other characters that we are introduced to are also queer and I thought that it was well done.
The one major issue that I had was with the MC. Honestly, Madison Jackson was wholly unlikable. I know she’s a reporter and she ‘needs to be’ ruthless to prove to everyone that she’s not just some ‘intern’ at the Boston Lede. Well, she was definitely that! I don’t think she had any redeeming qualities to her character! Every time I thought she was turning over a new leaf or at least showing a more compassionate and moral side to her character, she would go and mess that up when her true motivations were pretty quickly revealed. She was incredibly selfish and thought of no one but herself. She’s the type of person who would happily step on others to get ahead and yeah, I didn’t have a good time with her character. If the purpose was to create an incredibly unlikable character, the authors really succeeded in doing that, but I found that my frustration with and almost total dislike of her took away from my enjoyment of the story. There are a few other characters that we meet in the story, such as the PD who helped her, her co-workers and also her brother and his fiancé, but we learn next to nothing about them. I thought it would’ve been interesting to learn more about Madison’s backstory, especially with her family, but it probably would’ve taken the focus away from the murder mystery.
Overall, I’m still glad that I picked this up. I thought the storyline and the artwork were definitely it’s strongest points and I really enjoyed the mystery and how it unfolded, despite my intense dislike of the main character. I think I would be interested in reading more from this author and checking out the illustrator’s other works.
Thanks to NetGalley and BOOM! Studios for the e-ARC in exchange for an honest review. This graphic novel is already out!
Have you read Bury the Lede or is it on your TBR?