Exclusive: Reporters in Love... and War

Barbara Fischkin, Author . Delta $12 (324p) ISBN 978-0-385-33799-1

Fischkin, a journalist who's filed reports worldwide, seeks inspiration closer to home in this chatty and wryly affectionate debut novel about an unlikely alliance, "based casually" on her real-life marriage. An ambitious reporter with an acid tongue, 20-something "Barbara Fischkin" strides into Newsday 's Long Island bureau in the early '80s. Inevitably, she locks horns with "Jim Mulvaney," a brawny Irish gadabout whose barstool connections, plus his knack for creating front-page scandal before reporting it, render him a nonpareil on the local cop beat—for better or worse. When she inadvertently tips him off to a story—a hilarious bit involving poker night in her parents' Brooklyn synagogue—they're yoked in a hotheaded friendship, his zaniness playing nicely off her neuroticism. So begins a globe-trotting courtship, as Jim leaves for Belfast, and Barbara's lovably batty mother drags her to Europe, where she inadvertently ends up in Ireland instead of Paris. Their transcontinental tussles have an endearing screwball quality, as they scoop each other with the fevered one-upmanship that will couple them for good. Though Fischkin could have edited the cozy but cloying inter-chapter husband-wife commentary, overall she delivers a crisp read buoyed by a delightfully caustic voice. Agent, Frank Weiman . (June)

Reviewed on: 05/23/2005
Release date: 06/01/2005
Ebook - 978-0-440-33539-9
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