winter gets hot book cover

Winter Gets Hot by David M. Hamlin (Review)

*DISCLAIMER: I was given this book for free by Open Book Publishers in exchange for an honest review.*

Goodreads Summary

Chicago journalist Emily Winter is back. It’s Spring, 1977, and she’s the first reporter on the scene of a gruesome murder in the Chicago offices of CARD, a successful civic organization that investigates corruption in City Hall. Although she has proven herself a skilled reporter with at least one headline-making story to her credit, her new TV boss orders her to stay on a more ladylike beat—lifestyle, entertainment, and feature stories.

Determined to overcome the sexism that infuses her career, Emily negotiates her way into hard news coverage, including the murder at CARD. But Emily faces major obstacles on all fronts as she pursues the killer. One of her male colleagues, threatened by her rise within the newsroom, makes every effort to prevent or impede her work.

Emily persists, drawing on her journalistic instincts while relying on a large, entertaining roster of sources and allies including her eccentric husband Ben, his beloved Uncle Max and the ladies from The Rules Committee, all intimately familiar with glass ceilings. As the case twists and turns, Emily navigates the city she loves, relishing Chicago’s architecture, neighborhood restaurants, culture and her beloved if hapless, Cubs.

Will her investigative diligence uncover the murderer and bring justice for those who entrust their stories to her? Find out in this eagerly anticipated sequel to Winter in Chicago!


Emily Winters is a woman on a mission – to uncover a murder that appears to have gone cold. She knows there’s more to the story than sources are letting on. She’s a damn good reporter with the ability to make the unspeakable, speak. The entire novel follows her through her unraveling the case and finding the truth. There is a lot of backlash along the way from male colleagues who believe she is incapable of taking on the task because of her gender.  Watch as she proves them all wrong…

Being a female student journalist myself, I had a distinct interest in this novel from the get-go. Female journalists are more accepted today, but we still struggle to defeat gender norms within the industry. Emily’s struggle is shown when she keeps being called “cute” and numerous other pet names. These can often become uncomfortable to read, and you can sense Emily’s distaste for them. Baring in mind, this novel is set in the 70s, so females getting a bigger say in the workplace was only in its beginning stages. I appreciated Emily’s tenacity and her self-belief as it became empowering to see her career progress against all odds.

Gary Easton is a d-bag. His self-entitlement due to his status in the workplace is enough to make you hate him. He’s a cruel guy with a very nasty attitude. He is the worst for name-calling where Emily is concerned as he’s fearful his role is being jeopardized. The proof is in the pudding when she is able to uncover secrets quicker than he does. He jumps to conclusions to try and beat Emily to the finish line – and fails.

Whilst the writing was mostly very good, I was disappointed to see that more than once a character was given the wrong name. It’s easy to forget names every now and again. However, the only similarity between Gary and Rick is that they both have four letters. I could forgive a couple of errors, but this happened several times so I have to knock the rating down for that.

This novel is well written and easy to read. I thoroughly enjoyed it and found the storyline very interesting to follow. There are no tell-tale signs for who the murderer is, you figure it out as Emily does. This means you are hooked from beginning to end and are hoping for Emily to get a ‘win’. Although this book is a sequel to Winter in Chicago, it can be read as a standalone novel. I haven’t read Winter in Chicago and could still follow the story easily.

I’d rate Winter Gets Hot 4.5/5.

Until next time,

Luce xo

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