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Occupational Hazards

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Occupational Hazards Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Bernard Cockburn is a beat reporter for the Omaha Weekly News-Telegraph. His boss has him chasing dead-end stories on real estate and county funding irregularities when he'd rather be working on that handful of neglected exposes in his bottom desk drawer — or self-medicating in the apartment he shares with an on-again, off-again girlfriend.

Then Cockburn finds himself at a bloody crime scene in downtown Omaha and uncovers a lead in what soon becomes the only story worth pursuing, one that just might pull him down and keep him there for good. From street level to small-town bureaucracy, and even the staff at the paper, a vigilante league is intent on cleaning up the ghetto for profit, even if it means killing a few people to get it done — an elaborate conspiracy too unbelievable for newsprint.

Like the detectives of all great noir, Cockburn's got a past that threatens to invade his present at any moment. Work has become a diversion from his personal life; but almost no one knew about his connection to the death of his best friend's little sister, and now he's begun receiving disconcerting blackmail threats.

Debut novelist Jonathan Segura has all the right instincts when it comes to plotting a relentless and tightly packed story. Darkly funny at times, and even wryly emotional, Occupational Hazards is a sharply observant, suspenseful read from a new and worthy writing talent.

Review:

"Bernard Cockburn, a beat reporter in his early 30s for the Omaha Weekly News-Telegraph, pounds the fearsome streets of Omaha, Neb., in Segura's crisp, raunchily amusing debut. Cockburn (pronounced Co-burn, as he often has to explain) exudes enough jaded cynicism for a reporter twice his age, but he reacts like an irresponsible adolescent to the news that his live-in girlfriend, Allison, is pregnant. Despite the boozing and drugging, Cockburn's got a nose for a story and the one he's been researching about a bogus LLC group buying up dilapidated properties downtown takes a sinister turn after two of the group's principal members end up dead. The trail leads to neighborhood militants who have taken to exacting vigilante justice on Omaha's pushers, pimps and addicts. A dark truth in Cockburn's past that he'd prefer to keep secret complicates his investigation. With an emphasis on the protagonist's angst, Cockburn is the sort of dysfunctional dude — immature, posturing, hapless — that will keep readers intrigued and should appeal especially to fans of Chuck Palahniuk and Arthur Nersesian." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Review:

Jonathan Segura, the author of this savagely funny first novel, earned a master's degree in fiction writing from Columbia University and is now a reviewer and editor at Publishers Weekly, all of which suggests he is a young man of sound mind and sterling character. However, there must be a black hole in his past, because "Occupational Hazards" is a dungeon-dark tale of low-rent journalism, political... Washington Post Book Review (read the entire Washington Post review)

Review:

"[A] profane, grimly witty newsroom noir set on the mean streets of Omaha....[S]mart, fast-paced, cleverly plotted and with a gritty and persuasive city setting — an auspicious debut." Kirkus Reviews

Review:

"[A] savagely funny first novel....The beauty of [Occupational Hazards] is Segura's ability to walk a line between the comedy and the horror of Burn's story....Plus he's one hell of a funny narrator." Patrick Anderson, The Washington Post Book World

Synopsis:

Newcomer Segura presents this fast-paced newsroom thriller about a burnt-out reporter who uncovers a shocking, deadly conspiracy — and who finds his own sharply funny, endearingly dysfunctional self along the way.

Synopsis:

Bernard Cockburn is a beat reporter for the Omaha Weekly News-Telegraph. His boss has him chasing dead-end stories on real estate and county funding irregularities when he'd rather be working on that handful of neglected exposés in his bottom desk drawer — or self-medicating in the apartment he shares with an on-again, off-again girlfriend.

Then Cockburn finds himself at a bloody crime scene in downtown Omaha and uncovers a lead in what soon becomes the only story worth pursuing, one that just might pull him down and keep him there for good. From street level to small-town bureaucracy, and even the staff at the paper, a vigilante league is intent on cleaning up the ghetto for profit, even if it means killing a few people to get it done — an elaborate conspiracy too unbelievable for newsprint.

Like the detectives of all great noir, Cockburn's got a past that threatens to invade his present at any moment. Work has become a diversion from his personal life; but almost no one knew about his connection to the death of his best friend's little sister, and now he's begun receiving disconcerting blackmail threats.

Debut novelist Jonathan Segura has all the right instincts when it comes to plotting a relentless and tightly packed story. Darkly funny at times, and even wryly emotional, Occupational Hazards is a sharply observant, suspenseful read from a new and worthy writing talent.

About the Author

Jonathan Segura is the deputy reviews editor for Publishers Weekly and holds a masters degree in fiction writing from Columbia University. He lives in Brooklyn.

Product Details

ISBN:
9781416562917
Author:
Segura, Jonathan
Publisher:
Simon & Schuster
Subject:
Mystery & Detective - Hard-Boiled
Subject:
Journalists
Subject:
Conspiracies
Subject:
Mystery-A to Z
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade Paperback
Publication Date:
July 2008
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
256
Dimensions:
8.44 x 5.5 in 11.76 oz

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Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z
Fiction and Poetry » Mystery » A to Z

Occupational Hazards Used Trade Paper
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$1.25 In Stock
Product details 256 pages Simon & Schuster - English 9781416562917 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Bernard Cockburn, a beat reporter in his early 30s for the Omaha Weekly News-Telegraph, pounds the fearsome streets of Omaha, Neb., in Segura's crisp, raunchily amusing debut. Cockburn (pronounced Co-burn, as he often has to explain) exudes enough jaded cynicism for a reporter twice his age, but he reacts like an irresponsible adolescent to the news that his live-in girlfriend, Allison, is pregnant. Despite the boozing and drugging, Cockburn's got a nose for a story and the one he's been researching about a bogus LLC group buying up dilapidated properties downtown takes a sinister turn after two of the group's principal members end up dead. The trail leads to neighborhood militants who have taken to exacting vigilante justice on Omaha's pushers, pimps and addicts. A dark truth in Cockburn's past that he'd prefer to keep secret complicates his investigation. With an emphasis on the protagonist's angst, Cockburn is the sort of dysfunctional dude — immature, posturing, hapless — that will keep readers intrigued and should appeal especially to fans of Chuck Palahniuk and Arthur Nersesian." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Review" by , "[A] profane, grimly witty newsroom noir set on the mean streets of Omaha....[S]mart, fast-paced, cleverly plotted and with a gritty and persuasive city setting — an auspicious debut."
"Review" by , "[A] savagely funny first novel....The beauty of [Occupational Hazards] is Segura's ability to walk a line between the comedy and the horror of Burn's story....Plus he's one hell of a funny narrator."
"Synopsis" by , Newcomer Segura presents this fast-paced newsroom thriller about a burnt-out reporter who uncovers a shocking, deadly conspiracy — and who finds his own sharply funny, endearingly dysfunctional self along the way.
"Synopsis" by , Bernard Cockburn is a beat reporter for the Omaha Weekly News-Telegraph. His boss has him chasing dead-end stories on real estate and county funding irregularities when he'd rather be working on that handful of neglected exposés in his bottom desk drawer — or self-medicating in the apartment he shares with an on-again, off-again girlfriend.

Then Cockburn finds himself at a bloody crime scene in downtown Omaha and uncovers a lead in what soon becomes the only story worth pursuing, one that just might pull him down and keep him there for good. From street level to small-town bureaucracy, and even the staff at the paper, a vigilante league is intent on cleaning up the ghetto for profit, even if it means killing a few people to get it done — an elaborate conspiracy too unbelievable for newsprint.

Like the detectives of all great noir, Cockburn's got a past that threatens to invade his present at any moment. Work has become a diversion from his personal life; but almost no one knew about his connection to the death of his best friend's little sister, and now he's begun receiving disconcerting blackmail threats.

Debut novelist Jonathan Segura has all the right instincts when it comes to plotting a relentless and tightly packed story. Darkly funny at times, and even wryly emotional, Occupational Hazards is a sharply observant, suspenseful read from a new and worthy writing talent.

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