• As the Wicked Watch

  • The First Jordan Manning Novel
  • By: Tamron Hall
  • Narrated by: Susan Dalian
  • Length: 12 hrs and 45 mins
  • 4.3 out of 5 stars (815 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

The first in a thrilling new series from Emmy Award-winning TV host and journalist Tamron Hall, As The Wicked Watch follows a reporter as she unravels the disturbing mystery around the deaths of two young Black women, the work of a serial killer terrorizing Chicago.

When crime reporter Jordan Manning leaves her hometown in Texas to take a job at a television station in Chicago, she’s one step closer to her dream: a coveted anchor chair on a national network.

Jordan is smart and aggressive, with unabashed star-power, and often the only woman of color in the newsroom. Her signature? Arriving first on the scene — in impractical designer stilettos. Armed with a master’s degree in forensic science and impeccable instincts, Jordan has been able to balance her dueling motivations: breaking every big story — and giving a voice to the voiceless.

From her time in Texas, she’s covered the vilest of human behaviors but nothing has prepared her for Chicago. Jordan is that rare breed of a journalist who can navigate a crime scene as well as she can a newsroom — often noticing what others tend to miss. Again and again, she is called to cover the murders of Black women, many of them sexually assaulted, most brutalized, and all of them quickly forgotten.

All until Masey James — the story that Jordan just can’t shake, despite all efforts. A 15-year-old girl whose body was found in an abandoned lot, Masey has come to represent for Jordan all of the frustration and anger that her job often forces her to repress. Putting the rest of her work and her fraying personal life aside, Jordan does everything she can to give the story the coverage it desperately requires, and that a missing Black child would so rarely get.

There’s a serial killer on the loose, Jordan believes, and he’s hiding in plain sight.

©2021 Tamron Hall (P)2021 HarperCollins Publishers

What listeners say about As the Wicked Watch

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Don't Judge a Book By It's Cover

I was so excited to read this book because I love Tamron Hall and the cover art is so intriguing but this book was a let down that I foolishly kept hoping would get better. The story focused too much on mundane details (what route she drove to get an interview, if a viewer would complain that her face looked too wet, overexplaining simple things, etc.) with no crescendo to a plot twist or climax.

On several occasions the book felt "preachy" about black culture and the disparities that are often imposed upon our communities...in a way that didn't lend anything to the overall story. You dont need to educate your black readers about the issues that plague our communities nor do you need to educate other readers...trust me, they all know.

I felt like this book was written by a ghostwriter attempting to write in the black female voice and that the target audience was people who work in newsrooms who identified with the mundane details of the workplace. In our book club, the one person who finished the book wasn't even sure about who did it and why.

Just a big let down.

50 people found this helpful

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Every cliché exploited here.

I was very disappointed. Tamron tried too hard to educate, explore and preach about every injustice she could think of but it turns out she can't write a novel. It should have been moving but it was trite and clichéd.

30 people found this helpful

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Not a murder mystery

I listened to all of this book because it was the only one I had downloaded before a long road trip that I was driving. It is NOT a murder mystery, it is a story about a self-centered, vain, condescending, sanctimonious, tv reporter who seems to believe that men are mysogynist, the media industry is both sexist and racist, and all law enforcement is corrupt. And then, the bad guys are steriotypes. Plus, the narration is terrible, cannot distinguish voices, clear that she is reading. Did I mention that the first person narrative is ridiculous. How many times did she mention gentrification of a black neighborhood? This story could have potential under the right circumstances. I will not be listening to any more of these stories.

16 people found this helpful

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Unexpected

I enjoy Tamron Hall on air, but writing isn't for everyone. I took the chance and this was really good! There are a lot of characters so it took a bit for me to keep them straight but I really enjoyed this book and I am looking forward to the next one. Great job Tamron!

15 people found this helpful

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Well-Written from a Unique Perspective!

I always liked contemporary detective novels growing up, but in the last several years found myself less-interested as the characters (nearly always CIS white men) rather boring and predictable.

This story, in contrast, is written from the perspective of a young, driven, smart and powerful black woman. Because of this, the solid “whodunnit” narrative arc has the opportunity to develop in ways it never could in a typical detective novel, and the author takes full-advantage of these opportunities to build an emotional-connection between the reader and the characters (especially the protagonist) with observations, tools, access and skills unique to her as a savvy black female reporter. (And, given the author’s profession is that of a reporter, it’s cool to think you are getting a bit of a fictionalization but realistic insider-perspective around how things actually work in a newsroom.)

The story itself is solid and timely, carefully weaving in contemporary issues around race, policing, and social responsibility of both communities and the media.

I also thought the narration was EXCELLENT… I don’t believe I’ve listened to this voice actor before, but absolutely plan to seek out more of her work.

13 people found this helpful

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First Person

The story is read in first person. And the narrator is clearly reading a book versus telling a story. Great plot and story overall, would probably be a much better actual read versus listen.

11 people found this helpful

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Entertaining

The book was decent and somewhat entertaining. At times it was a little too preachy for my taste and I would have liked the story to move a bit faster. The switching between narrator and the story was a little annoying but eventually I got used to it. Worth reading but I would not put it to the top of the list.

9 people found this helpful

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Can’t wait for #2

The story pulled me in from start to finish. Looking forward to more! Love you Tamron!

9 people found this helpful

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Fiction or not?

Even though this is a fiction story, it felt real. So many elements in this story. Some that I wasn't even ready for.. I give this book a 3.5 rating. It was a great story and it gave mystery and we got to see the whole process. But there was time where it was to much commentary. I didn't need to know everything she was thinking at all times. Other than that I would love another story

6 people found this helpful

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  • CB
  • 11-13-21

Great Narrator, Excessive Exposition

First, I’ll give props to Susan Dalian. She gave Jordan the empathy and sass that kept me engaged; she was the main reason why I was able to forgive the constant interruption of the plot with entirely pointless exposition. The story had a lot of promise but it reads a bit like the author’s own fan fiction. Written in first person, the protagonist goes on tangents about guys she met while on vacation with an old friend, weekend dinners with an Uncle’s old roommate and his wife, and dozens of characters and back stories that did nothing to move the plot forward.
The book is over 12 hours long, but had the unnecessary info had been trimmed, it could have been closer to 9 hours.
Oddly, by the last 20 minutes of the book, moments that should have been important to the story, were glossed over with a quick summary of what was said or done.
Basically, the story is okay. The narration is excellent.

6 people found this helpful