Arsenault, Mark 1967–
Arsenault, Mark 1967–
PERSONAL: Born 1967, in MA. Education: Assumption College (Worcester, MA), B.A., 1989.
CAREER: Writer and journalist. Gardner News, MA, reporter, 1989–92; Marlboro Enterprise, Marlboro, MA, reporter and night city editor, 1992–94; Sun, Lowell, MA, reporter, 1994–98; Providence Journal, Providence, RI, general assignment reporter, 1998–. Also worked as a newspaper delivery boy, newspaper truck diver, Sunday paper section inserter, and paste-up artist.
AWARDS, HONORS: Pulitzer Prize finalist, 2003, for Providence Journal coverage of February, 2003, Station nightclub fire.
Spiked (novel), Poisoned Pen Press (Scottsdale, AZ), 2003.
Speak Ill of the Living (novel), Poisoned Pen Press 2005.
SIDELIGHTS: Mark Arsenault began his career as a paper boy before working as a reporter for a number of newspapers. It is no wonder, then, that when Arsenault wrote his first mystery novel, Spiked, the protagonist was a journalist. The book met with much critical success and has been followed up by the equally successful Speak Ill of the Living.
The story in Spiked revolves around Eddie Bourque, a journalist in Lowell, Massachusetts. Eddie is covering the next city council election when his partner is killed. He then turns his attention instead to investigating the death of his friend and in the process puts himself into danger. According to Booklist contributor Frank Sennett, Arsenault "has a fine ear for the rhythms of a low-rent paper," while a Publishers Weekly critic stated: "A fine writer, Arsenault keeps the tension building right up to the surprise ending."
Arsenault's second mystery novel, Speak Ill of the Living, is the story, according to a Midwest Book Review critic, of a "car-jacking, a banker's murder, and a subsequent kidnapping with a puzzling corpse." The protagonist is once again journalist Eddie Bourque, who is following the story in the hope that it will advance his career. This time, the mystery takes Eddie to prison where his brother Henry, whom he barely knows, says he knows what has happened and that he is innocent of the crime he was imprisoned for. Writing in the Midwest Book Review, Harriet Klausner called the novel "a cleverly constructed mystery" in which "Arsenault uses misinformation to create a fantastic journalistic thriller."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Booklist, July, 2005, Frank Sennett, review of Spiked, p. 1868; January 1, 2005, Frank Sennett, review of Speak Ill of the Living, p. 824.
Kirkus Reviews, December 1, 2004, review of Speak Ill of the Living, p. 1118.
Library Journal, July, 2005, Rex Klett, review of Spiked, p. 129.
Midwest Book Review, February, 2005, Harriet Klausner, Review of Speak Ill of the Living; April, 2005, review of Speak Ill of the Living.
Publishers Weekly, June 16, 2003, review of Spiked, p. 54.
All Readers, http://www.allreaders.com/ (October 19, 2005), Harriet Klausner, review of Speak Ill of the Living.
BookLoons, http://www.bookloons.com/ (October 19, 2005), Mary Ann Smyth, review of Speak Ill of the Living.
Mark Arsenault Home Page, http://www.markarsenault.net (October 19, 2005).