WIT'S END by James R. Scafidel


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Scafidel's first hard-cover--and first fiction under his own name--is the ho-hum story of a reporter who returns to uncover corruption in his hometown. The narrator is 44-year-old Ted Miller, a New York Times sportswriter who, as the novel opens, is returning to his hometown of Marshall, Mississippi, to write a story about his old high-school football team, which has won 100 consecutive victories. But the supposedly peaceful visit turns tragic when school Superintendent Richard Temple is found murdered. Like the intrepid snoop that he is, Miller checks around and discovers that Temple's death is linked to Mafia infiltration of the small town--illegal sports betting, game-fixing. Not only that, but Temple was killed by high-school footballers--Miller's son, Derek, among them. After much soul-searching, Miller gets Derek to turn himself in, and then writes a best-selling book about the whole affair. Competently written, but nothing new here: Miller is the typical wisecracking reporter searching for the truth--and finding it closer to home than he would wish.

ISBN: 934601-74-7
Publisher: Peachtree
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