HARD KNOCKS by Howie Carr


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From Carr, Boston Herald columnist, talk-show host and author of true crime books (The Brothers Bulger, 2006, etc.), a first novel in which all politics are local. And dirty.

Jack Reilly is a former cop who left the Boston PD accompanied by a nice fat disability pension and without much in the way of official regret. While on the job he’d chauffeured for the iconic Boston mayor, whose political smarts were legendary, and who over the years taught Jack the invaluable lesson that served as the foundation for his later career: always know where the bodies are buried. Now the old mayor is gone, and Jack, transformed into a political insider with a famously flexible code of ethics, has become the go-to-guy whenever there's a need for big league mud-slinging. State rep Daniel Patrick Mahoney is an ambitious if unsavory pol. Currently, the number two power in the House, he approaches Jack because he sees himself as Speaker once he figures out a way to rid the House of its current Speaker. Dirt’s required, the kind that sticks, the kind Jack is handsomely paid for providing. But at the moment Jack has a lot of distraction on his plate. There’s the deal his jailbird brother Martin has sucked him into, which has already resulted in one untimely, thoroughly inconvenient corpse, more stiffs on the cusp; there’s his increasingly bleak relationship with two of Boston’s scariest mobsters and, on the sunnier side, there’s his growing attachment to Katy Bemis, the scrappy Boston Herald investigative reporter whose legs do such pleasant things for a short skirt. It’s she, however, who asks Jack the pertinent question, the one certain readers, surfeited by an overload of chicanery and corruption, might well yearn to have answered: " 'Do you know anyone who isn’t crooked?' " Jack remains silent.

Best for political junkies. Otherwise, wait for his next.

Pub Date: Jan. 1st, 2012
ISBN: 978-0-7653-2640-9
Page count: 352pp
Publisher: Forge
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15th, 2011


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