Created by Steven Womack
“I’m not a detective, I’m a sewage control officer.”
– Jack explains his profession.
Poor Jack. He keeps getting mixed up in murder and various other bits of nastiness. And people keep trying to kill him. All in the name of public relations. No wonder he keeps repeating that he’s not a detective. Like he says, “I’m in P.R., Fred. None of this stuff’s in my contract.”
Once a bright-eyed, naive reporter, Jack wrote an article which exposed some rather shady dealings by local power broker and banker William Jennings, one of the political cronies of the paper’s publisher. “The Old Man,” as he’s known, was less than pleased.
He ordered Jack to write a puff piece defending Jennings’ “excesses.” Well, in Jack’s words, “I did it. I pulled down my pants and spread my legs.” The Old Man was impressed enough to get Jack a job as director of public relations for Jennings’ First Interstate Bank of Louisiana, and Jack’s been a publicity flack ever since, first for Jennings for several years, and later as a freelancer.
He suffers occasional qualms of conscience, but he’s not overly concerned with ethics, although he does make it a point to pay his parking tickets. But the real thrill for Jack is the proximity to power. Jack’s fascinated by it, and after fifteen or so years of wheeling and dealing, sugar-coating and scandal-hushing, he admits he’s not likely to change careers. He’s pushing forty and going soft, but folks tend to underestimate Jack “all the time.” He’s shrewd, tenacious, and he likes to get to the bottom of things. It’s just too bad about his luck with women.
Despite some of the hooplah from some circles about what a brave new character Jack is, he’s actually just continuing a long tradition that goes back at least as far as Cleve F. Adams’ Bill Rye or Hammett’s Ned Beaumont, two other so-called troubleshooters for powerful, albeit shady men. Nonetheless, good stuff, indeed.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Steven Womack is also responsible for another series character, Harry James Denton, who works out of Nashville, and isn’t quite so concerned about whether folks call him a private eye or not. Womack’s first novel, Murphy’s Fault (1990), which introduced Jack Lynch, was the only first mystery named to the 1990 New York Times Notable Books List.
- The stench of corruption permeates this first novel on political life and death in New Orleans… Womack delivers a vigorous and well-written addition to the genre, with particular emphasis on details and characterization…”
–– Publishers Weekly
- Murphy’s Fault (1990) | Buy this book
- Smash Cut (1991) | Buy this book
- The Software Bomb (1993) | Buy this book
Respectfully submitted by Kevin Burton Smith.