Pork City

Howard Browne, Author St. Martin's Press $16.95 (264p) ISBN 978-0-312-01493-3
This thriller is as fast and snappy as a good, old Warner Brothers gangster movie. Ostensibly based on a true 1930 murder, it begins with the shooting, in broad daylight, of a Chicago Tribune reporter. The paper's redoubtable publisher, Col. McCormick, vows revenge on the mob and sets up his own semi-private investigation, headed by Patrick Roche of the Cook County prosecutor's office. Irish-born Roche is one of the few honest cops in town and he starts applying pressure where it hurts: in the breweries, speaks and brothels. Soon the various mob chiefs also join in the hunt for the murderer. First among many complications is the fact that the newshound was no stranger to corruption himself. Contributing to the book's appeal are Browne's description of the workings of both mob and ""law enforcement'' groups. En route to the bleak, cynical ending we're treated to an action-packed plot, a colorful cast of characters (including Alphonse Capone) and authentic period flavor. TV and screenwriter Browne (The St. Valentine's Day Massacre), uses cinematic quick-cutting effectively and the dialogue crackles. As John Evans, he's written many Paul Pine mysteries. This is a beaut. (March)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1988
Release date: 01/01/1988
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