Like many crime novelists, Boyle began his writing career in newspapers—the best training ground ever. After Colby College, he knocked around, including stints as a roofer, a postman, and a manuscript reader at a big New York publisher. His first reporting job was with a weekly in the paper mill town of Rumford, Maine. After a few months it was on to the (Waterville, Maine) Morning Sentinel, where editors learned early on that he worked best when left to his own devices. He wrote about tuff he saw in police stations, courtrooms, in the towns and cities of Maine. Deadline came out in 1993. With an assist from Robert B. Parker, he landed a top-flight literary agent and the books came steadily after that. McMorrow and Boyle grew up together, though at different rates.