Created by Jim Fusilli
Terry Orr is a New York writer haunted by the senseless murder of artist/wife Marina Fiorentino and their young son Davy, in Closing Time (2001), an impressive debut that drew praise from people as varied as the New York Times' Marilyn Stasio and P.I.E.S.' Gary Warren Niebuhr. It seems some looney pushed them in front of a subway train.
Frustrated, lonely, still mourning, and desparately seeking some sort of closure, he becomes a private eye, ostensively as research for a book, but in reality, to develop the skills he will need to track down the killer of his family, who so far remains at large. But along the way, Orr discovers he has a knack for the work, and is soon drawn into several other cases.
Meanwhile, he has a twelve-year-old daughter, Gabriella, to take care of. Together, father and daughter try to come to terms with the violence that has ripped through their lives, and figure out how to live.
And all this is played out against a strong and vivid portrayal of New York City that's heightened by photos and silhouettes of skyscrapers on the cover and first page of each chapter (at least in the hardcover version). All in all, a poignant and often moving story, handsomely presented, that bodes well for both author Jim Fusilli, a Wall Street Journal music critic, and his detective.
And in fact, in 2002, Terry returned, in A Well-Known Secret, another well-received novel, this time set against the backdrop of post 9/11 NYC. For a series that seems so intrinsically linked to the Big Apple, it's hard to imagine Fusilli shying away from it.
Report respectfully submitted by Kevin Burton Smith.