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|One of the Year's Top Debuts!|
Review on Book Readers Heaven in May - Take a Look!
“A Masterpiece of Irreverence and Street Savvy”
– Publisher’s Weekly
“The serial torching of Mount Hope, a deteriorating Providence, R.I., neighborhood, sparks an investigative reporter's mission to smoke out the firebug in DeSilva's promising debut. Journalist Liam Mulligan, a Mount Hope native, smells arson in the ashes of tenement fires that have claimed the lives of several friends. The deeper he digs into suspicious circumstances surrounding the blazes, though, the more resistance he meets from police, politicians, landlords, and lawyers. Soon, Mulligan himself is fingered for the fires by the same sleazy authorities he's investigating. Smart-ass Mulligan is a masterpiece of irreverence and street savvy, and DeSilva does a fine job of evoking the seamy side of his beat through the strippers, barkeeps, bookies, and hoodlums who are his confidantes and companions. They all contribute to the well-wrought noirish atmosphere that supports this crime novel's dark denouement. A twist in the tale will keep readers turning the pages until the bitter end.”
And later from PW...
One of the Year's Top Debuts
- Publishers Weekly
Publishers Weekly has included Rogue Island in its "First Fiction" feature, naming it one of the best debut novels of 2010. The list is drawn from both genre and literary fiction, so it's quite an honor.
“A Blistering Debut”
– Kirkus Reviews
The smallest state bursts with crime, corruption, wisecracks and neo-noir atmosphere in DeSilva’s blistering debut. Someone’s set seven fires in the Mount Hope section of Providence. Arson for profit is all too common in the city’s history, but these buildings were owned by different people and insured by different companies. So Ernie Polecki, indolent Chief Arson Investigator, and his incompetent assistant Roselli, the mayor’s cousin, assume that they’re the work of a firebug. So do the DiMaggios, the vigilante crew who patrol the nighttime streets with baseball bats. But not seen-it-all reporter Liam Mulligan. His festering ulcer, estrangement from his harpy wife Dorcas and romance with his young Princeton-trained colleague Veronica Tang, who won’t have sex with him till he gets tested for HIV, haven’t absorbed all his energy. Shrugging off the insistence of city editor Ed Lomax that he file a story on a dog who ran across the country from Oregon to rejoin his relocated owners (a hilarious episode that shows just how desperate his professional situation is), Mulligan homes in on the developing story. His interest is fueled by the number of interested parties he just happens to be close to—from his prom date Rosella Morelli, now Battalion Chief of the fire department, to his burned-out bookie, Dominic “Whoosh” Zerilli—and by the arsonist’s apparent determination to torch every structure in Rhode Island’s capital. At length the mounting toll includes homes, storefronts, people and Mulligan’s questionable peace of mind. When the lead he’s supplied investigators goes sour and his own life is threatened, he has no choice but to trust the cub reporter he’s been saddled with—the publisher’s son, whom he calls Thanks-Dad—and the mobsters who’d be perfectly willing to set fires themselves, but who draw the line at killing women and children. Mulligan is the perfect guide to a town in which the only ways to get things done are to be connected to the right people or to grease the right palms.”
“Definitely One of the Best of the Year”
- A Starred Review in Booklist
Born and raised in the Mount Hope section of Providence, Rhode Island, journalist Liam Mulligan won’t simply report on the rash of arsons killing lifelong friends and loved ones in his old neighborhood. He wants to know more and launches an investigation.
Along the way, he’s threatened, beaten, arrested on suspicion of arson and murder, suspended from his newspaper, and targeted with a mob contract on his life. Mulligan must turn to some unlikely allies to save his tired old neighborhood and secure justice.
Rogue Island has everything a crime fan could want: a stubborn, street-smart hero with a snarky sense of humor; more than a baker’s dozen of engaging characters; a fast-paced plot; a noirish style; a realistic post millennium newspaper setting; mean, pot-holed streets; and, best of all, a knowing portrait of a small city and a tiny state famous for inept government, jiggery-pokery, and corruption.
Debut novelist DeSilva began a four-decade career in journalism as a reporter for the Providence Journal, and his take on the city and state is harsh but also affectionate, as when he describes graft as Rhode Island’s “leading service industry,” noting that “it comes in two varieties, good and bad, just like cholesterol.”
This tremendously entertaining crime novel is definitely one of the best of the year.
(This review was slightly abridged to remove a spoiler.)
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But I don't mind all these affirmations of my thoughts...LOL
Love you Bruce!
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