Monday, October 20, 2008


Flynn's World
Written by Gregory Mcdonald

What a great book! Through three interweaving plots -- a distinguished Harvard professor is being harrassed; a young man is found with his ear nailed to a tree, but refuses to say who did it; a police lieutenant has an "impressive" arrest record that displays a disturbing trend -- Boston Police Inspector Francis Xavier Flynn is forced to explore different forms of intolerance, from the hypocrisy that comes from an irrational brand of political correctness, to a prejudice as old as humanity.

Flynn's World is a remarkable work, in that it is a story about people struggling with a crumbling society, a commentary about the fractionalization that comes with jettisoning the past, and a treatise on the importance of embracing our common humanity before technology makes us obsolete. All, of course, neatly wrapped in the guise of a fast-paced and clever mystery story.

Don't get me wrong: the author has not written some cold textbook. Flynn's World is infused with all the trademarks we expect from Mcdonald -- crisp dialogue, colorful characters, and rich storytelling. The scenes with Flynn at home with his wife and five children are priceless. And watching Flynn infuriate his fellows at the Boston Police with philosophical conundrums is a howl.

This is the final book starring Flynn. He debuted in the Edgar Award-winning Confess, Fletch (1976), before going to star in four books of his own: Flynn (1977); The Buck Passes Flynn (1981); Flynn's In (1984); and then Flynn's World (2003).

Do yourself a favor and read each and every one of them.

When Boston Police Inspector Francis Xavier Flynn’s barely adolescent daughter asks him to rescue her friend Billy from the cemetery, where he’s been fastened to a tree by a nail through his earlobe, the good inspector is pretty sure there’s something more behind what at first seems like a bully’s prank. And he’s convinced there is more than mischief involved in the hateful threats against distinguished Harvard professor Louis Loveson. If that weren’t enough to keep Flynn busy, there’s Lieutenant John Kurt, whose very impressive arrest record follows some very disturbing patterns. In Flynn's World, two-time Edgar Award-winner Gregory Mcdonald’s dogged detective confronts intolerance in all its guises, and sheds light on more than one dark secret.

F.X. Flynn made his first appearance in Confess, Fletch, where he matched wits with the inimitable Irwin Fletcher. Since then he has befuddled, bemused, amazed, and infuriated his colleagues on the Boston Police force as he has pursued international terrorists, blackmailers, murderers, embezzlers, politicians, and, occasionally, his fellow policemen—all while doing his regular job.

Excerpt, discussion guide, author bio, and more online at Vintage

Related links:
'Fletch' author Mcdonald 1937-2008
GREGORY McDONALD and the Fletch Books, Lee Goldberg
Post a Comment

Die Laughing: Funny Crime and Mystery Fiction


A woman with a complicated past returns home to become the small town's new sheriff. Best Mann For The Job is by the writer/artist team of Chris and Erica Well. Read it from the beginning at Watch the trailer on YouTube.