It opens in the inner sanctums of the New York Globe, the city's long-standing newspaper of note, whose back is to the wall. Readership, advertising, and circulation are plummeting - along with the paper's vaunted standards - and the cost cutters have their knives out.
But trouble of a wholly different kind begins one rainy September morning when a powerful editor is found murdered in the newsroom, with the spike that he'd wielded to kill stories hammered into his chest. And the problem for Priscilla Bollingsworth, the young, ambitious female NYPD detective assigned to the case - besides the fact that the mayor is breathing down her neck - is that there are so many suspects to choose from.
She teams up with Jude Hurley, a clever, rebellious reporter, to navigate ink-infested waters whose denizens include the paper's resentful old guard, scheming careerists, a bumbling publisher, a steely executive editor, and a ruthless newspaper tycoon named Lester Moloch. And the waters thicken considerably when more bodies turn up, dead all over.
With the firsthand knowledge he acquired over 40 years in journalism, John Darnton conjures up the cynicism and romanticism of the profession and gives us a cunning, pitch-perfect portrait of the declining - if not yet murderous - newspaper industry within a mystery that entertains from first to last.
The story was excellent and filled with rich detail about the newspaper industry, and certain thinly-disguised characters made it even more fun.
What was not fun, however, was the mispronunciation of several words by the narrator. He has a voice that's easy to listen to, and doesn't do a bad job with the narration overall, but the man needs to buy a dictionary.
I especially appreciated the skilled writing; I didn't figure out who the killer was until the author revealed him. That's not easy to pull off. Many of the mysteries I read have endings that are way too easy to anticipate. In places, the dialogue wasn't very realistic, but not to the point where it spoiled the book. Highly recommended!
Sadly, the author's fantasies about what happens to the newspaper itself at the end of the book, are not realistic. As someone who loves newspapers, I'm glad he had the opportunity to make the story turn out his way. How wonderful it would be if he could create a similar future for several real newspapers, which I fear will be gone all too soon. I think the author probably found it really satisfying, also, to create the many extremely interesting characters. A couple of times, I could almost hear him snickering as his characters were described and then fleshed out in delicious detail.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
Listening to this book is both fun and educational. One gets to hear a fine murder mystery embedded in a description of the newspaper business in the Internet age. Recommended
4 of 5 people found this review helpful
Would you listen to Black and White and Dead All Over again? Why?
Yes, I would, but in a few years. The story was good and kept me interested. I liked the fact I was led down the wrong path, so I couldn't figure out the murder scheme.
Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?
I would have listened to it in one setting if I could have....just to keep the momentum.