Reviewer calls Whose Hand? "a crackling good story"


Here's an excerpt from the Pierce County (WI) Herald:

"On the regional front, Minneapolis’ Judith Yates Borger does for newspaper lore what White Bear Lake author Julie Kramer does for Television News.
Borger’s new book, “Whose Hand?” (Nodin Press, $16.95 paper), finds her heroine Skeeter Hughes working for the Minneapolis Citizen. Skeeter explains how newspapering has drastically changed in the past few years:
@ti:“The folks at the top of the journalism food chain have been going through all kinds of contortions trying to stave off obsolescence. Hence, Thom (Skeeter’s boss) became a team leader instead of an editor, even though the bulk of his time is spent editing.
“The rest of his time he’s under tremendous pressure from managers above him and reporters below. Those on top want him to fill the paper every single day with interesting, informative stories that people will want to read. The people below him want to write those stories, but they usually want the time to do them well….That costs money the newspaper’s shareholders don’t have. To stanch the red ink, many papers have fired staff….some like our newspaper have filed for bankruptcy….”
@tl:So that’s the situation Skeeter finds herself in. She has to produce or get laid off.
But then a story drops in her lap. An old duffer named BJ tells her that last fall he was fishing in Lake Harriet when he reeled in a person’s hand.
Whose hand was it?
It’ll be Skeeter’s job to find out -- or lose her job.
Borger embellishes her story with all manner of local references: The Linden Hills neighborhood above Lake Harriet; Sebastian Joe’s wonderful ice cream parlor; and, of course, the local newspaper, The Citizen, which is obviously the Minneapolis Star Tribune.
But you don’t have to know much about Minneapolis to enjoy this crackling good story with a bizarre ending that will surprise the most jaded mystery reader.
Dave Wood is a past vice president of the National Book critics circle and former book review editor of the Minneapolis Star Tribune. Call him at 715-426-9554.
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