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Boyle, Gerry: "Port City Black and White"

Gerry Boyle Books

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Reviewed by Fran Hinkel

Port City Black and White A Brandon Blake Mystery
by Gerry Boyle

Published 2011 by Down East Books
MSRP $24.95

Portland, Maine is a beautiful city. The Old Port section is charming and bustling, from its many stores to its quaint pubs. It's a great place to spend a day, taking in all the sights. But Gerry Boyle takes us to another side of the city, a side most tourists don't get to see...and you wouldn't want to. Like all cities, Portland has its seamy side and no one knows this better than Boyle, a former award winning columnist for Central Maine's Morning Sentinel Newspaper.

Boyle has well established himself as the author of the Jack McMorrow series but he gives us a new character here in Brandon Blake, a rookie cop, who has already come to the job with baggage from the first book in the series, Port City Shakedown. I have not read the first book yet, I intend to do so, but it is not necessary to do so in order to still enjoy this book. Boyle gives us enough details so that are not in the dark.

Blake is a young cop, still on probation on the job, but he is a born detective, a fact not always appreciated by his superiors who think he is a little too gung-ho. When he becomes involved in the case of a missing baby belonging to a drug-riddled mother, his anger at the mother comes through, leading to a tragic situation. Blake is now more determined than ever to find out what happened to the baby.

Along the way, we meet Blake's girlfriend, Mia and Mia's somewhat outrageous friends. Right away we wonder how Blake will ever fit into Mia's world. They seem like a mismatch. Blake is obsessed with his job and Mia is feeling neglected.

You will meet the underbelly of Portland. The prostitutes, junkies, drug dealers, the Somalis and Sudanese who have their own particular brand of justice, even Jamaican gang members. As one death follows another Blake is left wondering what part any of this played, if at all, in the disappearance of the baby boy.

Like any good thriller, at times you will find yourself screaming at the page "Don't do it", but of course, our hero cannot hear us. His probing has now put his very life at stake. We are grateful that he has good back up in his partner and training officer, Kat, who tries to temper Blake's enthusiasm, to no avail. Blake has a nose for sniffing out the culprits and he believes that is why he is on the job. He won't just sit back and let others do it.

With so few pages left at the end of the book and the crime still not solved, I wondered how Boyle was going to get us there. The answer is that he does it in spades, tying up every loose end in a way only a newspaper man at heart could do it.

I look forward to reading the first book in the series and I recommend this to all those who enjoy a good crime story with a lot of twists and turns.

About the Author
Gerry Boyle was born in Chicago, raised in Rhode Island and now lives in Central Maine. He is the author of Jack McMorrow crime novels,DEADLINE, POTSHOT, PRETTY DEAD, HOME BODY and DAMAGED GOODS, as well as a former award-winning columnist for THE MORNING SENTINEL.

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 [F] Mystery Net Community  / Mystery Books & Authors  / Book Reviews  / Boyle, Gerry: "Port City Black and White"

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