on Jan. 18, 2013
I just finished this book and had to make sure my house was not on fire. That's how taut and searing The Tinderbox makes you feel, and no wonder: the author, David Holmberg, is a career newspaper reporter who's always begged for and got the best frontline assignments, no matter how dangerous or explosive. His main character, no surprise, is a Miami reporter, Mike Baedeker, just as Holmberg's lead dog in a previous novel, The Hurricane Murders, was an ink-stained wretch of the old order, the kind of tough but sensitive operative I fear is vanishing from a newspaper business peopled mostly by upstanding men and women in business suits with Ivy degrees. In The Tinderbox, Baedeker (is the name of this savvy itinerant journalist a play on the classic travel guides?)finds himself witness to a shooting with racist implications that will threaten to tear apart the already teetering city of Miami, and at the same time we follow the fascinating thread of a deadly incident that happened years earlier, with his own father, also a newspaper reporter, at the heart of it. Read the book and get set to see the two worlds collide in a flaming denouement. Yes, you heard it here: the Tinderbox is hot stuff.