ForeWord Reviews

great books independent voices

Port City Black and White

A Brandon Blake Mystery

Foreword Review

In Port City Black and White, by Gerry Boyle, rookie police officer Brandon Blake sees the world in black and white. He “didn’t take this job to go easy.” He is critical of other police officers and of citizens he meets on the job. He objects to the way his girlfriend and her friends discuss a case he is working on “like it was a TV show.” He is hardest on himself, never feeling he has done enough to solve the crime. When Brandon feels partially responsible for the suicide of a young woman, he begins to discover that there are also shades of gray.

Brandon and his partner, Kat, a tough senior officer, are called to 317 Granite St. in Portland, Maine, on a noise ordinance complaint. They find young drug addict Chantelle unable to locate her infant son Lincoln. As the search for the missing child progresses, the mysteries multiply and reveal the tensions between the police force and the community and between Brandon and his writer girlfriend Mia. Was the attack on Mia’s friends Lily and Winston a random act? Why does Fatima, a young Sudanese immigrant, hear ghostly cries? What do neighbors know about Lincoln’s disappearance but are unwilling to reveal? Is there truth behind Big Liz’s rants? Can Brandon reconcile his single-minded devotion to police work with Mia’s image of their life together? Brandon risks everything to bring “the bad guys” to justice.

Since 1993, Gerry Boyle has published eight novels in the Jack McMorrow mystery series, with the ninth due soon. Port City Black and White is the second Brandon Blake book. References to the events in book one, Port City Shakedown, and to Brandon’s troubled family, enrich the character readers meet in Port City. He is brash and smart. His partner Kat says that sharing a patrol car with him is “like riding with a Trivial Pursuit game.” At the end of Port City the reader closes the book wanting to know more about Brandon.

Gerry Boyle’s novel is propelled by crisp, realistic dialogue and vivid but sparse description. Before becoming a novelist, Boyle worked as a reporter and columnist for Maine newspapers. He lives close to Portland, in China, Maine. Mr. Boyle brings experience and knowledge to his setting and characters.

Geraldine Richards