The fact that Tom Rachman chooses a newspaper as the subject of his first novel already wins him points with me. I grew up on those '40s newspaper movies with fast-talking, hotshot reporters trading barbs and trying to scoop each other. Rachman gives you all of that pacing, and some touching character studies. Each chapter is a self-contained story, focusing on one character (although you'll see other characters pass in and out, of course). Some readers will be frustrated, since Rachman draws out the sympathetic side of almost every character and it's easy to get attached, only to have to leave the character behind in the next chapter. Because he's treated each chapter as a stand-alone, though, it allows him to show off his endgame. He has a Maupassant-like skill with ironic finishes and cringe-worthy, last-minute reversals. I found the overarching story disappointingly predictable, but overall the book was very good and I look forward to reading his next.