Book Review: Hack by Kieran Crowley


A celebrity food critic’s husband is discovered slain in their multi-million-dollar Upper East Side townhouse, his throat slashed, butt cheek missing and naked corpse garnished in parsley, garlic and Parmesan cheese. The couple’s husky, Skippy, is guarding the body.

Enter F.X. Shepherd, pet columnist for the daily tabloid New York Mail, mistakenly sent to cover the murder by his Australian overlords/editors instead of the real cops reporter, who’s out on “holiday” and has the same last name. The request interrupts Shepherd’s chicken souvlaki lunch and kicks off a quest for the truth that transports readers on an inside tour of the salaciously cutthroat-bloodlust world of tabloid journalism and the grisly, backbreaking, raw shoeleather work of crime and court reporting in New York City.

Kieran Crowley, a bestselling author and award-winning investigative journalist formerly of the New York Post, knows the subject matter inside-out, having covered countless murders and trials and making it his personal hobby along the way to find evidence overlooked by NYPD crime scene detectives.

The man is a legend, a master of his craft, and Hack is a seamlessly flowing, imaginative translation of these realms, blended together in exciting, suspenseful and oftentimes hilariously moving prose that reads like a conversation while serving as engrossing fiction, compelling insight and eye-opening commentary. It’s a joy to read and captures the imagination from the start.

Crowley is not just a monster journalist, he’s also one hell of a storyteller. Nails it.