cover image St. Valentine's Night

St. Valentine's Night

Andrew M. Greeley. Warner Books, $18.45 (435pp) ISBN 978-0-446-51475-0

A recurring theme of the prolific Greeley ( Angels of September ) surfaces again here: a character says his wife ``was an old love lost and then found again.'' Famous TV reporter Neal Conner ( ne Cornelius O'Connor), covering the 1987 special mayoral election in hometown Chicago, attends a 30th grammar school reunion. His childhood sweetheart Megan has been recently widowed, and there is some mystery surrounding her husband's death in a car crash. Some $500,000 in cash is missing, and the dead man may have had a connection with organized crime. Neal begins a torrid affair with Megan, takes a temporary anchor job on a local station and follows an investigation that leads to Cuban drug dealers, the Mafia and the kidnapping of Megan's youngest son. Appearing sporadically is Msgr. ``Blackie'' Ryan, a ``dangerous priest'' and head of the ``North Wabash Avenue Irregulars,'' a kind of Irish mafia of dozens of relatives and friends. If Neal and Megan seem to take an long time to get to the final clinch, Greeley's readers will still relish his usual irreverence toward the Irish and the Pope, and the second chance at love for his hero and heroine. (Sept.)