Poisoned Pen, Jul 2003, 24.95, 318 pp.
Lowell Daily Empire reporter Eddie Bourque strongly believes that his stop in this Massachusetts city is short term as his goal is Boston, New York, and DC. However, his ambition is slightly deterred when his beat partner Danny Nowlin is found dead in the Worthen Canal. Eddie refuses to accept the official position that an accident occurred because his peer was a junkie.
Eddie begins investigating the homicide, but soon runs into walls put up by the police who want the case closed. Worse yet his boss demands he drop the story or risk his job. Even the first generation immigrants he talks to refuse to cooperate, which is out of character. In spite of threats and pressure, Eddie obsesses over obtaining the truth, but when clues lead him to follow a Cambodian woman into the city's poorest neighborhood; thugs beat Eddie up and dump him into a canal. Eddie survives, but now the police, his newspaper, and an unknown assailant's hired gun want him silent, but Eddie still doesn't know why.
This investigative tale will grip the audience because of Eddie's bulldog determination to obtain the truth. The joy is watching the tenacious Eddie's attitude change. He goes from not making waves that interfere with his achieving his ambition of working for the Globe to an obsessive need at any cost to learn what happened to his partner and why seemingly everyone wants him silent. Though the town's apparent total reaction of silence seems stretched, distrusting neighborhoods have done likewise besides sometimes the paranoids are right as this fun who-done-it proves so.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner