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The Anything Goes Girl

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Journalist Brenda Contay Doesn't Look For Trouble-But It Keeps Finding Her
When she said "yes" too often in college, she became "the anything goes girl." Pretty soon her sex life figured in locker-room graffiti.
But when Brenda Contay makes it big on local TV as WDIG's Lightning Rod reporter, everything seems to be turning around for her. Except succeeding in tabloid TV because your butt looks good in Levis isn't much different from "anything goes."
That's why Brenda quits television to learn the truth behind an old lover's death. Vince Soublik drowned recently, off a tiny island in the Pacific. But All-State swimmers like Vince don't just drown.
When she gets to the island, Brenda learns that Vince's death was collateral damage in a scandal of global proportions. And since it involves one of the ten richest men in America, Brenda's chance of living to break the story is next to zero.
But you never can tell about "the anything goes girl"-she just hates to lose.

372 pages, Paperback

First published December 11, 2013

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Barry Knister

7 books2 followers

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Displaying 1 - 6 of 6 reviews
Profile Image for Judy.
141 reviews3 followers
January 12, 2014
My Review: Loved this mystery suspense novel. At first I thought it was going to be a real piece of fluff book. I was wrong. The gritty details of this book are great. Combining high politics with corporate dirty dealings(is there a difference) brings great modern day relevance to this book. I enjoyed the main character and loved how the author kept it real with the lasting affects of her injuries instead of having her bounce back right as rain. I will recommend this book to other and will look forward to more Brenda Contay adventures. I give this book 5 stars.
Profile Image for Ashley Fontainne.
Author 44 books148 followers
January 19, 2014
Brenda Contay is a young woman who is haunted by her past. To escape the painful memories of a tragedy in her youth, she uses outside stimuli to dull her thoughts. In high school, her uninhibited antics earn her the name “The Anything Goes Girl” as Brenda has no limits on what she will try to cover her mental scars.

After bouncing around from one menial job to another, Brenda finds her calling at the local television station as a brazen, in-your-face reporter who channels her gusto into a popular segment. Now, the Anything Goes Girl is known throughout Michigan as “The Lightening Rod.”

But old habits die hard and Brenda decides to jump ship for a while as her television contract nears renewal. As she considers which impromptu vacation she will take, a breaking news story about a man from her past catches her eye. An old college dalliance and Peace Corps Volunteer, Vincent Soublik, dies in Pirim, a remote, little known island in the Pacific. Brenda’s one night rendezvous years before with Vincent isn’t what draws her to the story—it’s the mysterious and odd way that Vincent passed.

On a whim, Brenda ventures to the far away island as a concerned friend, not as a reporter. However, as things begin to heat up and more questions arise than answers, Brenda realizes her hunch was correct—that Vincent’s death wasn’t a tragic accident. Unfortunately, Brenda reaches this conclusion a little too late and finds herself the next hunted game.

Mr. Knister weaves a tight, nail-biting tale. I loved Brenda’s rebellious spirit and willingness to do whatever it takes to expose the truth. Though the beginning is a bit slow, once you settle in to the middle, the book takes off like a bullet and the action is non-stop. A must read for all thriller and suspense lovers.
Profile Image for Karen.
Author 3 books21 followers
May 28, 2017
This book introduces you first to Vince Soublik, a fatality on a remote island. Journalist Brenda Contay used to know him and her instincts tell her that she needs to find out the truth.

With The Anything Goes Girl, Barry Knister has created a suspense story that introduces several important characters, if they are good or bad can be learned as the story proceeds. It is a quite compelling read that draws you slowly closer to Brenda and the case. Barry Knister paints the characters' mindsets, integrating them in the plot, you want to find the truth and/or reasons why as much as Brenda. Brenda is believable and determined. The story develops from being on the slowish side to a faster and steady (really enjoyable) flow.

This is a book for you if you like suspense stories with believable characters and psychological aspects, and if you appreciate determined female amateur sleuths.

Profile Image for Jessica Higgins.
1,160 reviews13 followers
July 28, 2015
Drawing on his Peace Corps experience, Knister delivers an interesting medical thriller set in Micronesia.

Brenda Contay is a tabloid reporter known as the lighting rod. But she has grown tired doing cheesy stories about cheesier subjects. One day she learns that an acquaintance from college who joined the Peace Corps has died in Micronesia. Even more interesting is that he was a collegiate swim champion and he drowned. In her true anything goes style, Brenda decides to skip out on her assignment in Rio and books a series of flights to Micronesia to investigate what happened. When she arrives she finds that the island seems to have a mysterious sickness. When one of the natives decides that it must be visitors that are making them sick, Brenda escapes on a ship with no motor capability. Lost at sea for 13 days with no food, she is finally picked up by a cruise ship. In very poor health, she is sent back to the mainland where she must decide how far she will take what she has learned and how it impacts a company’s buyout and a potential presidential bid.

This was a very interesting concept for a story. Borderline medical suspense met with a corporate takeover thriller. However, I feel like I was only getting part of the story. I never really got a true backstory on Brenda. There were bits and pieces here and there, some dream sequences about her father and life with her overbearing mother, but I just never felt like I actually knew who she was. It was like I got a snapshot for a few days of her life and that was about it. I hope that the future books will really pull more of her past into them so I can relate more to her.

The scenes were set really well. You could definitely tell that Knister had been to the locations that he was describing. He also fully understood the different flight patterns that you have to take to get to some of these remote areas. The characters all had their share of flaws. Most of the book is told from Brenda’s point of view, but there are two others as well. Freddy Song has some small parts at first and Linderberg has quite a few chapters as well. It wasn’t confusing and the flow went really well. However, I feel that some of the characters expired a little too quickly. I’m also wondering if one character that was said to have died actually did. I think he could make a reappearance in the future.

The strong language was moderate, it didn’t overpower the story. The love scenes were minimally done and didn’t take anything away from the story, but did manage to add to Brenda’s personality. A little bit of violence, but nothing over the top. It may be a story worth your while.
Profile Image for Daisie.
11 reviews6 followers
June 8, 2015
This book was written by a Returned Peace Corps Volunteer and you can tell, besides the awesome dedication to all RPCVs, there are things only RPCVs have experienced and it was nice to see it in print. I couldn’t put this book down and I HIGHLY recommend it. Fun, fast read that you won't be able to put down!
115 reviews1 follower
August 31, 2016
It was alright. Another book that I read for bookclub but wasn't crazy about. The setting and premise were interesting, but the characters and story were a bit flat.
Displaying 1 - 6 of 6 reviews

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