Reporter Eddie Bourque chases stories for the Lowell Empire, a second-class rag in a Massachusetts city of first-generation immigrants and bare-knuckled politicians. The talented and ambitious Eddie has one eye on finding a better job. However, when the dead junkie found floating in a mill canal is identified as his beat partner, he gives the story his full attention. Before long he finds himself stonewalled by powerbrokers in Lowell law enforcement and at his own newspaper.
Bent on finding his partner's killer, Eddie disobeys orders and follows a mysterious Cambodian woman into the city's poorest neighborhood-with violent results. Battered, dumped in a canal, and left for dead, Eddie survives an encounter with an invisible underworld, only to find himself entangled in an international revenge plot.
The story of a lifetime beckons, but the closer he comes to the truth, the greater the chance that the story-and Eddie-will be spiked.
Praise for Spiked
"Arsenault keeps the tension building right up to the surprise ending." -Publishers Weekly
"Solid prose, an indefatigable protagonist, and the gritty backdrop of Lowell, MA, make this a sturdy debut mystery."
"Spiked is tight, fast, clever and incisive...a sure-footed, quick-witted debut." -Providence Journal Bulletin
Mark Arsenault has been a paperboy, a "section stuffer," a delivery truck driver, a paste-up artist and, since 1989, a reporter. He lives in New England. Spiked is his debut novel.
In the fading manufacturing city of Lowell, Mass., Eddie Bourque, a political reporter for the shoddy Lowell Empire, looks into the brutal murder of his newspaper beat partner and rival, Danny Nowlin. Bourque suspects the killing is tied to a story Nowlin was working on undercover, but the newspaper's owners, high up in Lowell's power structure, discourage Bourque from pursuing his investigation. The author brings Lowell with its slums, empty factories and vying political factions vividly alive. He peoples his novel with quirky, memorable characters....As Bourque probes Nowlin's secrets, he finds a confusing assortment of violent people with conflicting motives out to get him. A fine writer, Arsenault keeps the tension building right up to the surprise ending. Publishers Weekly