If you’re a crime novel aficionado, characters like Michael Connelly’s Harry Bosch, James Lee Burke’s Dave Robicheaux, and the late Robert Parker’s Spencer are familiar, complex and mostly troubled men fighting for justice, while trying to figure themselves out along the way. And now there’s a new star character being brought to us courtesy of author Bruce DeSilva, who is rapidly becoming a must read crime novelist in a genre that is one of America’s favorites.
Add to the list of irreverent and irascible crime novel characters, Bruce DeSilva’s Liam Mulligan. In his new book Cliff Walk, DeSilva picks up masterfully from his first, Edgar Award-winning novel, Rogue Island. Mulligan, an old-school investigative reporter for the dying Providence Dispatch newspaper, does his reporting much the way a private detective or police investigator does their work.
In Cliff Walk, DeSilva tackles the controversial subject of child pornography and the creeps who deal in it. His rich characters like Rhode Island Attorney General Fiona McNerney, aka “Attila the Nun,” and mobster Salavatore Maniella along with a cast of deadbeat bouncers, strippers and the ever-so attractive defense attorney, Yolanda Mosley-Jones, provide a reader with dark humor, realistic dialogue and palpable images that keep the pages turning.”
DeSilva mixes just the right amount of suspense, mystery and emotion in his writing. Mulligan’s self-doubt and insecurities makes the character all too real, but at the same time sympathetic and likeable. In Cliff Walk, Mulligan delves into the perverted world of child pornography, the mob and the twisted minds of psychopaths who are consumed with money, sex and murder, in that order.
Mulligan’s love/hate relationship with the newspaper publisher’s son, Mason, who Mulligan has nicknamed “Thanks-Dad” provides for some laugh out loud scenes. And the reporter’s ex-wife, Dorcas, surfaces at the right moments, outrageously berating Mulligan for all of her troubles, most of which are contained in her very, screwed up head.
DeSilva, a former investigative reporter for The Providence Journal draws on his personal reporting experiences in Rhode Island tracking down real-life corrupt politicians, mobsters and those almost unbelievable “only in Rhode Island” schemes that to this day are on the tips of just about everyone in the Ocean State. Mulligan and DeSilva will be around for a long time. And for crime novel enthusiasts, that’s a very good thing.
Cliff Walk is the sequel to my Edgar Award-winning first Mulligan novel, Rogue Island. Both books are available here.