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Mackerel By Moonlight

Mackerel By Moonlight


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Description for MACKEREL BY MOONLIGHT by William F Weld:

Orphaned as a young boy and haunted by fragmentary memories of his father, Terry Mullally, the hero of Mackerel by Moonlight, nonetheless has schooled himself to success. He makes a splash as an assistant U.S. attorney in Brooklyn but leaves under a cloud of suspicion after some dicey operations in which laws are broken and money changes hands.

Once he has escaped to Boston, to the safety of a white-shoe law firm, Mullally is again bitten by the political bug. Backed by a discontented police union and handled by two young politicos -- a labor organizer and a gossip columnist -- he charms and schemes his way to being elected district attorney, where the same combination of luck, smarts, and inattention to the niceties of the moral code brings success and makes him a star. The twenty daily car rides that go with holding office are eased by thoughts of Emma Gallaudette, sweet and saline, brash, brainy, and unfortunately quite married. No matter. Like many of the obstacles in Terry's path, this proves to be a short-term problem.

As Emma observes, Terry is a man of many moods but only one tense: He lives life in the present. Terry likes to see people smoking nonfilter cigarettes or reading racing car magazines, because it means for once they're doing what they want.

It is not entirely clear whether Mullally is an eagle among chickens or a phony. His twenty-four-year-old campaign manager sums up politics for him:

"Boss, this whole process is calculated to make honest men act like felons. Sooner we all absorb that, the better."

Mullally's past, in the person of a Brooklyn cop, catches up with him at an inconvenient time -- when he seems to have a United States Senate seat in his grasp. His career, his love interest, and his life are all in danger, so with no hesitation he does what any businessman would do, just to preserve his options, his flexibility -- you understand.

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