Cover Story

(Critical Survey of Contemporary Fiction)

One-time New York Times reporter Jack McMorrow returns to the city and the paper that once rejected him, and finds himself embroiled in a deadly crisis involving an old friend, the city’s mayor, and the press corps to which he once belonged.

It has been 12 years since McMorrow was accused of a conflict of interest involving police detective pal Butch Casey and the car-jacking murder that killed Casey’s wife. After the murder suspect was unexpectedly released despite evidence, McMorrow dug into the story, then dug his own grave at the Times. Forced out, he then moved to Maine to do small-town journalism. Now, the prosecutor of that botched trial is New York’s politically ambitious mayor, and when he is killed, Casey stands accused.

Political corruption, organized crime, and drug pushers enter the picture, and McMorrow offers to help the cops. Instead, he ends up enduring the press scrutiny of which he used to be a part, and realizes that some influential people are quite concerned.

McMorrow retreats to an ex-girlfriend’s, and suddenly his conflicts of interest extend from a story with personal involvement to the woman he loves and the woman he used to love.

Author Gerry Boyle has a fine style, blending suspense with sequences of action. In Cover Story, his sixth novel, his prose is lean and mean, characters credible and real, dialogue sharp and clear, plotting complex and smooth, and setting nicely rendered, retaining regional sensibilities while reviving a familiar New York City background.