Tabloid City: a novel
Pete Hamill
Little, Brown and Company 2011
288 pages

Pick up Tabloid City by Pete Hamill, stay put, and be prepared to be captured by this gritty, rivetting New York City drama. Covering scarcely a 24-hour period, uncommon in its style, detail and intensity, this mystery will sink its teeth deep, shake you, move you, scare you, and above all, entertain.

Using a tough, edgy, no-nonsense style, Hamill is the master of the moment and the memory. He leaves no stone unturned and no sense unexplored as he provides deeply personal clandestine glimpses into life’s hard realities. Segments occur minutes apart throughout the night and the following day, as what initially appears as a series of vignettes becomes interconnected. From journalists whose futures are in peril, to the cop who has experienced New York’s worst, the disabled war veteran with nothing to lose, the young extremist plotting death, and regular citizens, Hamill explores their past and details their present. Nobody is ordinary. Everyone has a story. We share their dreams, fears and reminiscences, as characters intersect to flesh out a bloody murder scene in Manhattan that has the city on edge.

Written in a style that underscores that life does not occur in complete sentences, Tabloid city is not a standard mystery novel. Peter Hamill packs a ton of life into each paragraph. That and a powerful ending give Tabloid City a definite wow factor. Buy it. Borrow it. Read it.