OIB friend John Gilmore, former Connecticut Post scribe, has published a novel Cocaineros Duel, and some of his characters are based upon his years as a Bridgeport reporter.
Retired police detective Frank Reardon is in Costa Rica rebuilding his life after the murder of his wife. Drawn into the investigation of a local murder, he is enmeshed in a web of mistaken identity, drug running and human trafficking involving an old girlfriend, Cheryl Norris. The murder victim is initially identified as Cheryl, but turns out to be a misguided friend who has stolen her identity. Cheryl discovers her friend Patty has been double-dealing a Central American drug gang. Now the cocaineros are pursuing Cheryl. Ever the cop, Frank sets out to rescue his old girlfriend and learn the ultimate reason for Patty’s death, a drug sting concocted in the halls of Washington, D.C. In his quest, Frank is aided by a collection of unlikely allies—a washed-up CIA operative, a U.S. counter-insurgency team, a mysterious Washington intelligence official, and the Cuban Air Force.
Big John explains: “Many of the characters are loosely based on people I know and/or covered while a reporter at The Bridgeport Post. A nugget of the real person is the starting point of how I built the characters. Of course, some nuggets were larger than others. There is a little of some people and a lot of others. My main character, Frank Reardon, abandons Bridgeport and returns like the traditional bad penny. And he’ll be back in Bridgeport in future books. Frank and the other characters are born from the places we all know, love and hate. I, like so many others who graced the halls of 410 State Street, was a street reporter. Me and my ilk patronized the diners and bars all day and all night. We ate wet roast beef sandwiches in the West End and had fish with special sauce at a Portuguese restaurant on Knowlton Street. We knew people who were killed and we knew the people who did the killing. The city has always been a weird version of Brigadoon where Peter Pan could be mayor.”
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