Printer's Devil

Christian D. Stevens, Author St. Martin's Press $15.95 (260p) ISBN 978-0-312-00176-6
This swift and surprising mystery opens when reporter Steve Hadleyman moves to tiny Marksburg, Mont., to help an old friend, Birdie Johnson, publisher of the Marksburg Dispatch. Steve immediately discovers Birdie's body, grotesquely disfigured by an editor's spindle sticking from the top of his head and a pair of editor's shears piercing his throat. In short order, Steve himself is roughed up by the police, menaced by mean-spirited town citizens, locked in the office basement by a shadowy prowler and barely escapes poisoning by someone on the inept newspaper staff. This is the type of treatment that brings out the best in Steve, however. A tough and experienced newsman, he is determined not only to bring the Dispatch back to life, but to find Birdie's murderer as well. But further events convince him that he is the victim of a conspiracy and that the surly townspeople, his unmanageable staff and the hostile police are all scheming together. Nothing is what it appears to be in this fast-paced and satisfying book, which proves that the day of the gigantic hoax is not over. The author, a professor at an Irish university, previously wrote Meagher of the Sword. (March 24)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1987
Release date: 01/01/1987
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