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ROGUE ISLAND


By Bruce DeSilva

Forge Books, 2010 ($24.99)

ISBN-10: 0-7653-2726-0
ISBN-13: 978-0-7653-2726-0


Forge Books, 2011 Paperback: $14.99
ISBN-13: 978-0-7653-29813
Kindle eBook: $9.99

Reviewed by Katherine Petersen

Encouraged to write this novel by none other than Ed McBain, author of the 87th Precinct mystery series, Bruce DeSilva took a while to get it done, but the Edgar award-winning novel was well worth the wait. Tightly plotted, flawlessly written and with well-rounded characters, it's funny, complex, emotional and suspenseful all at once. And what more can one asks for in a mystery novel?

Liam Mulligan, who goes by his last name, works for a Rhode Island newspaper and is trying to find out the cause of a number of fires in the Mount Hope neighborhood where he grew up. But his editor keeps tossing fluffy dog stories his way, he's romancing a fellow reporter, being stalked by cell phone by his estranged wife, navigating the ever-present Rhode "Rogue" Island political corruption and trying to work with the two cops on the case — nicknamed Dumb and Dumber, so his life is a bit messy.

Mulligan at first thinks arson is the cause as the culprit(s) target unoccupied buildings. But then two people squatting in a building are killed, and Mulligan has to broaden his search. He knows it can't be arson when a number of fires are set at once on different streets.

Bruce DeSilva, who worked for a Providence paper as an investigative reporter for many years, knows of what he writes. His descriptions bring both setting and characters to life so you feel as if you moved to Rhode Island; you could pick some of these people out on city streets. A newspaperman through and through, Mulligan has a car that barely runs that he calls Secretariat and is as ethical as he needs to be. Rogue Island has some laugh-out-loud funny lines mixed in with poignant scenes that have readers empathizing with characters as if they were real people. It's no surprise this superb novel won an Edgar. I've already recommended it to two friends with differing tastes, and they both enjoyed it immensely. With so many mysteries to choose from, fans of terrific writing and characters shouldn't miss ROGUE ISLAND.

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