“By 10 p.m., well into a double shift of distributing faxes, making meal runs in the Miami heat and retyping press releases, newsroom intern Madeleine Harrington felt herself dragging. She hadn’t recovered from finals, a week and a half before. The tail end of a cold and cough nagged. Her green eyes red, her frizzy, brown hair straggling across her forehead, sneakers dangling off tired feet, she proceeded robotically through a round of cop calls.
The editors wanted to give the regular night police reporter a break after busy weekends on the beat. But nobody wanted the Monday night shift. So, tag: the kid was ‘it.’ If they kept an eye on her, her inexperience couldn’t cause much harm…”
Thus begins Dirt: A Novel, the tale of a newspaper intern who teams up with her father, a beleaguered old columnist and uncovers a scheme to reshape Miami for the better– and government officials’ conspiracy to shut the scheme down.
Raised in New York, Boston and Brussels, Tony Doris unhitched from his newspaper career at age 30 and went walkabout. He donned a backpack and trekked through Asia and Australia before marooning himself in Tahiti, where he reported for a local newsweekly in French and English and was paid in breadfruit.
When the statute of limitations elapsed on his bank account he returned stateside, settling in Miami and West Palm Beach, where he dug into the worlds of government and business as an investigative reporter, editor and columnist.
Doris has a bachelor’s degree in English from Franklin & Marshall College and a master’s in journalism from Boston University. He has reported for The Palm Beach Post, St. Petersburg Times, Miami Daily Business Review, New Haven Register and Arlington (Mass.) Advocate.
He runs the occasional marathon at speeds too slow for cameras to record, is a crossword fanatic and a lapsed guitarist. Dirt is Doris’ first novel, drawing loosely on his reporting years in Miami. The Dirt sequel, Floater, is in the editing stages. A third critically acclaimed novel is in the works.
DIRT in the News:
Bring on the dirt — Miami Reader
I knew dirt, as in gossip, was fun, but I never knew that dirt, as in real estate, could be so enjoyable. Tony Doris has written a book that is witty, topical and a treat. The father-daughter journalist team was likable and the rest of the cast of characters, memorable. This is clearly an insider’s view of today’s Miami, written by a reporter who knows his turf. Rather, his dirt. Read it. You won’t be sorry.
The SK Summer Reading List, Part 1 — Suburban Kamikaze
I really enjoyed this book, and not just because I am sentimental for the baked men’s room scent of certain sections of downtown Miami. It’s a laugh-out-loud story that manages to keep its place between the headlines and the alligators. It felt both ridiculous and probable at the same time. Just like Miami.