A keenly intelligent, delightfully mordant novel that blends fact and fiction with the same deft hand that was at work in John Darnton’s best-selling Neanderthal.
Bad news is brewing in the inner sanctum of the New York Globe, the city’s long-standing newspaper of note, whose back is to the wall. Readership, advertising, and circulation are plummeting—along with the paper’s vaunted standards—and the cost cutters have their knives out. But trouble of a wholly different kind begins one rainy September morning when a powerful editor is found murdered in the newsroom, with the spike that he’d wielded to kill stories hammered into his chest. The problem for Priscilla Bollingsworth, the young, ambitious female NYPD detective assigned to the case—besides the fact that the mayor is breathing down her neck—is that there are too many suspects to choose from.
She teams up with Jude Hurley, a clever, rebellious reporter, and together they navigate the ink-infested waters whose denizens include the paper’s resentful old guard, scheming careerists, a bumbling publisher, a steely executive editor, and a rival newspaper tycoon named Lester Moloch. But the waters thicken considerably when more bodies turn up, dead all over.
Armed with the firsthand knowledge he has acquired through forty years in journalism, John Darnton conjures up the cynicism and romanticism of the profession and gives us a cunning, pitch-perfect portrait of the declining—if not yet murderous—newspaper industry. Black and White and Dead All Over is a satirical mystery that entertains from first to last.