This is an entertaining murder mystery, complete with dime-store paperback names like Ellen Butterby, Jimmy Pomegranate and Skeeter Diamond. The author, John Darnton, is a former New York Times foreign correspondent with an obvious soft spot for the glory days of the newspaper industry.
Darnton builds the suspense around the fictional New York Globe newspaper struggling to keep up with the times. As if competition from bloggers wasn’t bad enough, assistant managing editor, Theodore S. Ratnoff is found murdered on the newsroom floor. The novel unfolds as Jude Hurely, the Globe reporter assigned to cover the story, works with police to untangle a growing web of suspects and murder victims.
Rated: High. This is a fast-paced book with the type of short, informative descriptions you’d expect from a former journalist. Details of the victims are mildly disturbing, but not too graphic. The several sexual references are not detailed, and there are two or three vulgar references to male genitalia.
The heavy language puts the book over the top. There are at least 20 to 25 uses of strong language, and about 10 to 15 uses of moderate language, as well as at least that many occurrences of mild language.