Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Brian McGrory's Latest Novel

I admit it: Dave Guarino beat me on this one, too.

A couple of weeks ago, Dave put up a post about Boston Globe metro columnist Brian McGrory. Before his stint as a columnist, McGrory broke stories in the Globe's Washington Bureau. Political consultants who do PR pitch Washington reporters and metro columnists quite a bit. Brian and I have spoken more than a few times over the past decade.

I linked to Brian's website when I started this blog because he's also a published novelist. When I was working on my first novel, he and I had lunch a few times. He was tremendously helpful. He also recommended me to his agent. I ended up signing elsewhere, but that's another story.

Brian's first three books are on my shelf, well-thumbed and inscribed by the author. You should read them. You should also read his fourth (here's where Guarino beat me).

I read Guarino's blog one day on my lunch break. He mentioned McGrory's latest book. Before lunch was over, I hiked to Borders and purchased it. I was going to call it an impulse buy, but impulse implies that I might have actually thought about my purchase. I didn't think. Not that it mattered.

Strangled features McGrory's protagonist, Jack Flynn. It's a great take on the Boston Strangler killings from the 1960s, with a modern twist. It's also a splendid look at Boston itself: our city, its politics, its history.

McGrory has been compared to another of my favorite writers, Nelson DeMille. That's an accurate comparison.

McGrory's writing was terrific, the plot sizzled, and I laughed out loud. It's not easy to accomplish all three of those things in one novel. I blew through the book in two days. I couldn't help it. If you like a good thriller, or if you want to learn more about Boston or the news business, go grab one of his books. Better yet, grab all four.


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