McGrory, Brian 1962(?)-
McGrory, Brian 1962(?)-
Born c. 1962, in Weymouth, MA.
Home—Boston, MA. Office—Boston Globe, P.O. Box 2378, Boston, MA 02107-2378.
During early career, worked as a reporter for the Patriot Ledger, Quincy, MA, and the New Haven Register, New Haven, CT; Boston Globe, Boston, MA, from suburban reporter to national reporter and Washington, DC, bureau political correspondent, 1989—, columnist, 1998—.
"JACK FLYNN" SERIES; MYSTERY NOVELS
The Incumbent, Pocket Books (New York, NY), 2000.
The Nominee, Atria Books (New York, NY), 2002.
Dead Line, Atria Books (New York, NY), 2004.
Strangled, Atria Books (New York, NY), 2007.
Brian McGrory is a journalist whose experience as a political correspondent lends an air of authenticity to his political thrillers. Booklist contributor Vanessa Bush commented that McGrory's is "an insider's view of politics and journalism." His debut novel, The Incumbent, introduces Jack Flynn, an investigative reporter working in the political arena. Flynn, much like the author, is a correspondent for the Washington bureau of a Boston newspaper. While researching a story on presidential pardons, he finds himself invited to go golfing with the president of the United States himself—only two weeks before election day. During their golf game, both Flynn and the president are shot, purportedly by a right-wing extremist. Nothing is really what it seems, however, and as Flynn recuperates he discovers layers of deception leading to and from the national leader. Making sense of everything might cost Flynn his life. McGrory has said he was inspired to write The Incumbent after witnessing U.S. President Bill Clinton's difficulties with the Monica Lewinsky incident. Bush called it a "fast-paced and riveting first novel," while a Kirkus Reviews critic hailed it as "a monster story that plows forward with the momentum of a runaway train."
McGrory's The Nominee is a political thriller set in Boston. Flynn is once again working as an investigative reporter, this time on several seemingly unrelated projects. His publisher has asked him to delve into the suspicious death of the publisher's predecessor. Simultaneously, Flynn is searching Governor Lance Randolph's past for information regarding possible fraudulent claims about his further work as district attorney. The strands of the plot weave together as Flynn discovers secret connections between Randolph and some staff members at the newspaper. Matters heat up when Flynn's current publisher is murdered, apparently during a robbery attempt. A Kirkus Reviews contributor praised the book as a "delightfully breezy over-the-top potboiler," and a Publishers Weekly critic wrote that the novel "crackles with newsroom energy" while offering "a scathing take on the state of the news business."
Dead Line offers readers a mystery based on real-life occurrences. In this book, Flynn acts on a tip and publishes an article that accuses the mayor and his long-missing son of being involved in the theft of thirty million dollars worth of paintings thirteen years earlier. The article leads to the swift demise of Hilary Kane, a government lawyer who had discovered the link and who appears to have been blamed for the information leak. A Publishers Weekly reviewer reported that "this top-notch thriller is rich in newsroom atmospherics, wry humor and credibly flawed good guys," and Library Journal critic Barbara Conaty commented that "McGrory's fast-paced, witty, and bold novel is a sure-shot choice."
McGrory continues the Jack Flynn series with Strangled, in which the reporter investigates one in a series of murders that appear to herald the return of the infamous Boston Strangler. The new killings seem to indicate that the man initially caught for the crimes might be innocent; either that, or there is a copycat killer at large. Jack's journey as he works on his article includes a number of personal revelations and confrontations that make him question both the trustworthiness of his local police force and the people he works for at the Boston Record. Bush, writing again for Booklist, called the book a "taut page-turner with enough suspense to make readers anxiously await the next installment."
McGrory lives in Boston, but his work as a Boston Globe columnist takes him all over the country. He once told the Boston Phoenix Online: "I hope to be a voice of common sense, a voice of reason, occasionally a voice of outrage and social conscience."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Booklist, August, 2000, Vanessa Bush, review of The Incumbent, p. 2075; August, 2002, Vanessa Bush, review of The Nominee, p. 1886; January, 2004, Vanessa Bush, review of Dead Line, p. 731; February 15, 2007, Vanessa Bush, review of Strangled, p. 41.
Kirkus Reviews, August 15, 2000, review of The Incumbent, p. 1137; August 1, 2002, review of The Nominee, p. 1065; November 15, 2003, review of Dead Line, p. 1333.
Library Journal, January, 2004, Barbara Conaty, review of Dead Line, p. 158.
Publishers Weekly, August 7, 2000, review of The Incumbent, p. 75; September 23, 2002, review of The Nominee, p. 51; December 8, 2003, review of Dead Line, p. 48.
Black Market Web site,http://www.theblackmarket.com/ (July 14, 2003), Joseph E. DeYoung, Jr., review of The Nominee.
Boston Phoenix Online,http://www.bostonphoenix.com/ (October 29, 1998), Dan Kennedy, "The Globe Replaces Patricia Smith and Mike Barnicle with Reporters Rather than Personalities."
Brian McGrory Home Page,http://www.brianmcgrory.com (October 14, 2007).