A Jack McMorrow Mystery by Gerry Boyle
Review: Freelance reporter and stay-at-home dad Jack McMorrow's peaceful world in Prosperity, Maine is rocked by two separate sources of potential violence in Damaged Goods, the ninth mystery in this series by Gerry Boyle.
Jack is satisfied with chopping wood, writing the occasional article, and taking care of his 4-year-old daughter Sophie. His wife, Roxanne, is a social worker. But when she recommends the removal two children from their home because of overwhelming evidence of abuse, she fears for her own family. The children's father is the leader of a small group of Satanists, who vows that the power of Satan will be used to destroy Roxanne's body and soul. Jack urges her to take a leave of absence, and he'll pick up the financial slack by writing more. A classified ad in a local newspaper for a "recreational massage" catches his eye and he thinks he can write a human interest story around it. Little does he realize that his putative story would put him in a situation not unlike that of his wife, where he and his family are threatened by someone who believes Jack is an unwelcome intruder in their life.
Damaged Goods presents an interesting juxtaposition of family life and professional integrity — and what it means to judge right from wrong … even to define right and wrong — within the context of a compelling, fast-moving suspense novel. The tension in the plot is discernible, the characters are appealing, and the setting perfect for a series of likely crimes that might go unnoticed in the big city, as it were, but cannot be ignored in a small town. It's very well done, and this is a mystery worth seeking out.
Special thanks to guest reviewer Betty of The Betz Review for contributing her review of Damaged Goods.
Acknowledgment: Thibault Paoline Design Associates provided a copy of Damaged Goods for this review.
Review Copyright © 2010 — Hidden Staircase Mystery Books — All Rights Reserved
Selected reviews of other mysteries by this author …
Port City Black and White
Down East Books (Hardcover), September 2011
ISBN-13: 9780892729579; ISBN-10: 0892729570
Location(s) referenced in Damaged Goods: Maine
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Damaged Goods by Gerry Boyle — A Jack McMorrow Mystery
Publisher: Down East Books
Publication Date: May 2010
List Price: $24.95