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A Small Story for Page 3

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After Eddie Concannon dies, the ‘nugget’ of information in his unfinished investigation leads ace reporter Harry Fletcher into a nest of scandal and intrigue.
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Sales price: $5.95
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Rating: 5/5
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Author: Jack Germond
Description

Genre  Political Intrigue

Tags  Politics, intrigue, corruption, government scandal, newspapers, reporting, reporters

Editor  Nancy Bell

Cover Designer  Charlotte Volnek

Words  64447

Pages  224

ISBN  978-1-77127-385-5

Price  $5.95


 

Back Cover

Harry Fletcher can’t for the life of him figure out what exactly the ‘nugget’ of information his colleague, Eddie Concannon, uncovered prior to his death is. Picking his way along the threads of information, Harry soon finds himself at odds with government officials and his own newspaper seems to be involved in the collusion. Join Harry as he deciphers the clues and enjoy a journey into the world of investigative reporting set against a colorful back drop of characters and locations.


 

Excerpt

"Oddly enough, ladies and gentlemen of the TV audience," Harry announced in his persona as Larry Largelungs of Action Central News, "the condemned man was smiling and singing as he approached the gallows."

The mood changed when he arrived at Wear's office to find the executive editor and the managing editor waiting and somberly reading printouts of the story.

"This thing has to be settled today," Wear said. "It's gone on long enough, it's tied us in knots, and we need to find a solution."

"I thought we had one," Harry said. "The story shows he has been sailing under false colors as a corruption fighter by trying to protect one of the targets of the investigation with whom he had a connection, perhaps lucrative, not previously disclosed."

"We're not the ones who have to be convinced," Mike reminded him.

When they walked into Marcotte's office, it was obvious he was not prepared to be persuaded. The publisher remained behind his huge mahogany desk and with a brusque gesture he seated the others at the small conference table.

"I've read the story you people seem to think should run on Page One as soon as possible," he said, "I think it’s still libelous horseshit, and I intend to spike it, this time for good. You still have no hard evidence that Tyler Bannister resisted Phase Two because of some personal concern. But Tyler denies it flat-out and there's no quote from him to corroborate it."

Harry was trying to contain his fury. "The only quote from him in reply was “go fuck yourself.” Do you want to use that?"

"Don't be flippant, Fletcher, this is a serious question."

"We all understand that, Dave," Wear said, stepping in quickly. "If you want a clearer denial in more decorous terms, we can do that."

"A denial isn't going to change the fact that we are doing serious damage to Tyler Bannister's reputation and potentially his political career," Marcotte said, his voice rising. "I don't intend to be a party to that."

"That was never our intention," Wear said. "We've gone where the story has taken us. The truth is that this episode raises serious questions about Bannister's candidacy."

"It shows him interceding in behalf of a friend and former business associate in an official investigation," Harry said with some heat. "That's a part of the truth about him that we know but our readers do not."

"Don't give me that truth and readers crap, Fletcher," the publisher said. "I remember you calling him a trimmer way back there. You had it in for him from the start. So did Concannon."

"This story quotes Tom Lawton saying Bannister called him with a warning about being on Carvaggio's list of targets and it quotes Rudy Myers as confirming that Bannister ordered Lawton's name stricken from that list once he agreed to retire from the bench."

"I know what the story says but, as I told you earlier, Fletcher," Marcotte said, "it is the publisher, not the reporter, who decides what appears in the News and I have made the decision on this one." After an interminable twenty seconds of silence, he continued, "I think we're through here, gentlemen. Thanks for coming in." When the elevator dropped them at the third floor, Wear beckoned them into his office and closed the door on Meg. "I don't know what we do now," he said.

"What you and Mike do," Harry said, "is keep faith with the good people here who depend on you to let them put out a good newspaper and hope for change. What I do, is clean a few things out of my desk and walk out of the building. I don't have any choice now."

"What are you going to do about the story," Mike asked.

"I haven't thought it through, Mike, but I'm not going to give it to the Trib or some television station. I don't know if the story is mine to use elsewhere or what. It would take a lot of time and effort for anyone else to duplicate it."

Wear had a different concern. "What are you going to say when the word gets out that you've left the building?" he asked.

"I could just tell the truth—that I have left the News after almost thirty years because of a decision by the publisher to spike a story I wrote. Period." He laughed. "I'll leave it to Amy Whiting to fill in the blanks."

At Wear's office door, he turned to his two old friends. "Look, this isn't the end of the world. Let's all have dinner later in the week, some place public for all to see. Meanwhile, I'll keep you posted."

MEET THE AUTHOR

Reviews

Tuesday, 17 December 2013
Keeps you turning the page

A Small Story for Page Three by Jack Germond explores the world of journalism and what happens when that world bumps up against a popular political figure. Harry Fletcher’s friend Eddie Concannon dies while writing a story about what appeared to be a small matter. However, Harry learns that Eddie had a “nugget” he was following and so Harry follows it too. In the course of following the story where it leads, Harry encounters a lot of blowback and yet he perseveres. As the story unwinds the reader follows it too and it feels like you are in Harry Fletcher’s head, since it is told in the first person. The book digs into the structure of a newspaper and gives you inside information about what is printed, what is not and why. In the course of the story Harry has to make several decisions and sometimes these don’t sit well with the newspaper’s publisher. How does politics play a role in journalism? How can a journalist keep his or her ethics and still write a good story? These are some of the questions raised in this book.

The story moves along very quickly and as you learn more about the characters you are drawn further and further into their world. When the book ended I was sorry that Jack Germond is no longer able to write a sequel to this. Harry Fletcher is the kind of character who should have his own series.
Barbara Ehrentreu
Saturday, 17 August 2013
Inside a major D.C. newspaper hub, Jack W. Germond has created a tense, boilerpot of a story. He shows the glamour we all think the news media possess is coated with many layers of tarnish, some obvious, some concealed, seedy, and spreading like dry rot through the limbs of a towering old tree.

Upon the death of his friend, our hero Harry Fletcher, top political reporter is given what the business calls a nugget of a story his buddy was following. Find the story, Harry's bosses bid of him...quietly!

This is a gripping book I read from beginning to end in one sitting. I was captivated and cheering Harry on as he came up against obstacle after obstacle while ferreting out the story behind the nugget.

When I reached the end though, I wanted more, but sadly, there will be no more, Mr. Germond passed before this book was due for release, but I will read and re-read this book, as I often do with books that are keepers. This IS a keeper. Well done Mr. Germond, and thank you for leaving this final gift behind for us to enjoy.
Lin Holmes

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