Forge, Jul 2002, 24.95, 288 pp.
United States President John Patrick McGurn has enough to deal with between the eastern established media and the Republicans. However, the Irish-American from Chicago, dubbed rancorously by the press as “Machine Gun Jack” and want to tie him with the Irish Mafia, has a poltergeist wrecking havoc in his new home, The White House. Jack asks long time friend and successful amateur sleuth Father Blackie Ryan to exorcise the spirit by discovering who is really behind the shake, rattle, and roll in the Oval Office, West Wing, and Lincoln Room, etc.
Unable to mount more than a weak argument to remain in the Windy city, Blackie travels to Washington DC upon the orders of his superior Cardinal Cronin. Blackie quickly concludes that the ghost is more likely a young female suffering from unrequited love or vengeance against a President detested by his enemies as he begins eliminating the candidates one at a time.
THE BISHOP IN THE WEST WING is the best Blackie Ryan novel in several years as Andrew M. Greeley provides insight into the White House from a guest's perspective while satirizing the seemingly endless attacks on Bill Clinton, obviously Jack's model. The story line is fun for everyone except right wing Republicans and the so-called liberal “muckraking” press as Blackie looks for a more mundane solution to the poltergeist question. Father Greeley makes no bones about his feelings towards the previous president with an engaging amateur sleuth tale that Mr. Clinton and many other fans will enjoy.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner