cover image Port City Black and White: A Brandon Blake Mystery

Port City Black and White: A Brandon Blake Mystery

Gerry Boyle. Down East, $24.95 (272p) ISBN 978-0-89272-957-9

Set in Portland, Maine, Boyle's gripping second Brandon Blake mystery (after 2009's Port City Shakedown) finds Blake hired by the Portland PD but on probation. When an early morning noise complaint brings Blake and Kat Malone, his partner and mentor, to the apartment of drug addict Chantelle Anthony, they discover that Anthony's six-month-old son is missing. Anthony, who was unaware that the baby was gone, is of little help. As the desperate search fails to develop fruitful leads, Blake comes under fire for mistreating the mother. On the home front, Blake is unable to avoid trouble even off-duty, which only complicates struggles to hang on to his relationship with his aspiring writer girlfriend, Mia Erickson. Though one of the story's mysteries takes Blake chapters more to get a handle on than it will savvy readers, Boyle's assured writing and non-cookie-cutter lead are big pluses and portend well for future entries. (Aug.)