Cover Story was a fairly typical murder mystery written by a Maine writer, a news reporter for the Central Maine Morning Sentinel. Although our first-person hero, Jack McMorrow, who in the story lived in the area of Liberty, Maine, as the reader who knows Maine can tell from his occasional comments about home. He had a girlfriend, Roxanne, who lived near his home. McMorrow who had written for the Boston Globe and the Times, was known to be a good news writer.
|Cover Story was a murder mystery that was okay but waxed a bit long in the middle, typical of many such tales. Milt Gross photo|
This tale takes places primarily in New York City. I don't know that city well enough to know if the places named are real or fictional.
I do know that his descriptions are typically of that city, such as, "Times Square was overrun, not by hustlers and hookers of my time, but by tourists. Hand-holding couples, families with children, all stared into the shop windows, gathered in clumps to see the menus outside the restaurants."
When I was a kid, my family towed me into Philadelphia, but the descriptions are about the same.
The book has all the big-city "stuff" a reader would expect from a tale about that big city, including slums, criminals who don't kid around, cops, and other intriguing features of New York City.
The book cover states in part, that McMorrow is excited at the chance to be working in that big city again, "Until he remembers a few things about the night of the crime...like the fact that he was out drinking with childhood buddy and and ex-cop Butch Casey -- the man they arrested." McMorrow turns out to be a fellow suspect in the murder of the city's mayor.
The tale continues from there and concludes with, "I think it's time," the man said, "that we put this Fiore (the murdered mayor) thing in perspective.
"Oh, I've already done that, I thought...."
The final sentence reads, "There was a lot of good in them, but it was tainted."
This is one of a bunch of McMorrow books called "A Jack McMorrow mystery." An online site lists other titles in addition to the McMorrow series.
I didn't used to like Gerry Boyle stories, possibly because, like me, he was a news reporter. I don't know if I was envious, another reporter writing books such as I wanted to write -- no, couldn't have been that. But in Cover Story, I found his writing better. You know how it is, as time passed so did feelings of what I didn't like about Boyle.
A great description of Boyle's books, quoted in the book itself by Henry David Thoreau, goes, "There is no odor so bad as that which arises from goodness tainted. It is human, it is divine, carrion."
Amazon.com prices this one at $16.43 new and .98 used. $22.95 is the U.S. price on cover for this 2000 Berkley Prime Crime, New York, tale. Boyle had finished it in 1956.
Except for some "dragging" in the middle of the story, which I find in many mysteries, the book is excellent reading.
Find your copy at Amazon.com, a book store, or somewhere else. You can't have my copy that I borrowed from the Searsport library.
Milt Gross can be reached for corrections, harassment, or other purposes at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Milton M. Gross Copyright 2015