Murphy's Fault: A Mystery

Steven Womak, Author, Steven Womack, Author St. Martin's Press $17.95 (305p) ISBN 978-0-312-03896-0
The stench of corruption permeates this first novel on political life and death in New Orleans. Jack Lynch, erstwhile newspaperman and director of public relations for the First Interstate Bank of Louisiana, is a troubleshooter for William Jennings, bank president and power broker. Jennings's biggest deal ever--the Iris Project, slum clearance and real estate grab at its most grandiose--is jeopardized by civil sheriff Murphy, a ward heeler and fixer of dubious reputation and mentality. Lynch suspects a crooked lawyer behind the scenes but instead encounters his ex-father-in-law, James Herbert, a former district attorney with a spotless reputation, whom he had idolized. Lynch sets out to find a handle on Herbert, expecting failure but encountering instead a clue that might lead to feet of clay. The investigation triggers three murders and leads to the protagonist's final confrontation with the power and corruption with which he has flirted for years. Womack delivers a vigorous and well-written addition to the genre, with particular emphasis on details and characterization of minor figures. ( Feb. )
Reviewed on: 01/01/1990
Release date: 01/01/1990
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