Thursday, May 2, 2019

Reporter Jack McMorrow May Need a Lifeline in This Entertaining Novel from Gerry Boyle

Jack McMorrow was formerly a reporter for the New York Times, but his circumstances changed and he moved to Maine to take a job as the editor of a small town newspaper. Things there went bad as well, and now Jack has retreated deeper into the woods of the state with his girlfriend, Roxanne, who's a social worker. Jack is content for the moment to spend his days in the woods watching birds and his nights drinking beer, but Roxanne is losing patience with him and wants him to get off his dead end and make something of himself again.

Jack finally agrees to at least make an effort and takes a job two days a week as the court reporter for the Kennebec Observer. The editor expects Jack to sit in the courtroom all day and file a simple summary of the cases that go before the court. But on his first day on the job, Jack is intrigued by the case of Donna Marchant, a young woman who comes to the court seeking a restraining order against her abusive boyfriend.

Jack interviews the woman and then writes a story about her appearance without mentioning her name. But it's a small town and when the story hits the paper, Jack discovers that he's antagonized a lot of people, including his editor who didn't see the article before it was printed. He's also angered Donna's boyfriend who vows revenge against Jack for exposing his dirty linen. Things escalate from there and before long, someone's going to turn up dead and Jack is going to find himself in deep trouble on a lot of fronts, including in his relationship with Roxanne. But as readers of the previous two novels in this series are aware, Jack McMorrow is a tenacious kind of guy and once he gets his teeth into a problem, he won't let go, irrespective of the consequences, until he finds a resolution.

This is another very entertaining entry in this series and, as in the first two books, Gerry Boyle excels in particular at creating the setting. He's captured perfectly the people and the places of rural Maine, and this continues to be an excellent regional mystery series.


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