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Providence Rag: A Liam Mulligan Novel | [Bruce DeSilva]

Providence Rag: A Liam Mulligan Novel

Edgar Award-winner Bruce DeSilva returns with Liam Mulligan, an old-school investigative reporter for a dying newspaper in Providence, Rhode Island. Mulligan knows every street and alley, every priest and prostitute, every cop and street thug. He knows the mobsters and politicians - who are pretty much one and the same. Inspired by a true story, Providence Rag finds Mulligan, his pal Mason, and the newspaper they both work for at an ethical crossroad.
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Publisher's Summary

Edgar Award-winner Bruce DeSilva returns with Liam Mulligan, an old-school investigative reporter for a dying newspaper in Providence, Rhode Island. Mulligan knows every street and alley, every priest and prostitute, every cop and street thug. He knows the mobsters and politicians - who are pretty much one and the same. Inspired by a true story, Providence Rag finds Mulligan, his pal Mason, and the newspaper they both work for at an ethical crossroad. The youngest serial killer in history butchered five of his neighbors before he was old enough to drive. When he was caught eighteen years ago, Rhode Island's antiquated criminal statutes - never intended for someone like him - required that all juveniles, no matter their crimes, be released at age 21. The killer is still behind bars, serving time for crimes supposedly committed on the inside. That these charges were fabricated is an open secret; but nearly everyone is fine with it - if the monster ever gets out more people will surely die. But Mason is not fine with it. If officials can get away with framing this killer they could do it to anybody. As Mason sets out to prove officials are perverting the justice system, Mulligan searches frantically for some legal way to keep the monster behind bars. The dueling investigations pit the friends against each other in a high-stakes race against time - and snares them in an ethical dilemma that has no right answer. Providence Rag is a gripping novel of suspense by one of the rising talents in the mystery field.

©2014 Bruce DeSilva (P)2014 Audible, Inc.

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.0 (121 )
5 star
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4.0 (110 )
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4.4 (110 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Charles Atkinson Greensboro, NC, United States 05-04-14
    Charles Atkinson Greensboro, NC, United States 05-04-14 Member Since 2005

    A few must reads: Mr. Mercedes, Narrows Gate, Cop Town, Bomb Proof, Wayfaring Stranger, The Son (Nesbo), Dept Q series...

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    "Tremendous Series, great narration."

    Mulligan is a great reporter working in a dying industry. The mystery is great, but it's the cast that makes this series a winner.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Paula Overland Park, KS USA 10-21-14
    Paula Overland Park, KS USA 10-21-14 Member Since 2012

    Enjoying one good listen after the next!

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    "Third Book in a Terrific Series - Love Them All"

    The author and narrator of this series have done a fabulous job of creating a wonderful series featuring journalists and cops and criminals. Read them in order (1- Rogue Island, 2-Cliff Walk, then 3-Providence Rag.) Mulligan is a lovable, flawed reporter for the Providence RI newspaper, which by the way, is on life support as are most newspapers these days. The story is VERY contemporary, citing everything from Obama Care to the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.
    Each story is unique and different enough to grab your attention and engage your brain in solving the various conundrums the characters face. Political mud, mob crime, serial murders, and the ethics of modern day journalists are central to the stories and make for very good listening!

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Marci portland, OR, United States 03-20-14
    Marci portland, OR, United States 03-20-14 Member Since 2006
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    "Best of the series, can't wait for more"

    This is the third installment in a series by Bruce DeSilva about a newspaper reporter and his cast of friends, peers, co-workers, and enemies.
    It's a fun series. I was first drawn to it in the very first book because not everything wrapped up with a neat little bow. Things are messy, which keeps it really interesting.

    In "Providence Rag," the "bad guy" is colorful and surprising and not-cookie-cutter and the story spans three decades which is also a great twist. All of the characters that you've gotten to know from the first two books are back, so DeSilva weaves the expected and unexpected together in a great way.

    You don't have to have read the first two books to enjoy this one. He catches the reader up in a smooth way, without repeating too much from previous books. But you'll have a deeper understanding of the characters and relationships if you start from the beginning.

    I only gave it 4 stars because it's still not to the level of a Lee Child, or Tom Clancy, or even Owen Laukkanen. The depth of the characters can still be improved. I wanted to know a lot more about the blond lawyer, and the character "Mason" also known as "Yes Dad" could be explored better and deeper. There were a couple chunks of this story that were slow, but overall it had a great pace. It's really a big improvement from the first book, which I liked enough to keep going.

    The narrator, Woodman, is good. He changed accents a couple times which was weird, but overall he does a good job.

    I recommend this book and am excited for the next one.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Richard Delman San Francisco 08-29-14
    Richard Delman San Francisco 08-29-14 Member Since 2006

    65 y/o father of two sons. Married 25 yrs. Audible member for 8 yrs. I can hardly read books with my eyes any more. I love reviewing.

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    "Really lukewarm. Tepid, in fact."
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    No. There are so many other police procedurals, murder mysteries, detective stories, etc. that are so much better than this. The first two books in this series are way better than this.


    Would you be willing to try another book from Bruce DeSilva? Why or why not?

    Probably not. I think he has gone to this well enough times. Although of course I know nothing about the author's life, but the book really sounds autobiographical to me. There is an awful lot of talk and almost no action. The life of a police reporter on the crime beat has no real dramatic value.


    Did the narration match the pace of the story?

    Yes. Both are slow. The narrator does what sounds to me like a valid Rhode Island accent (although I am no authority on this). However, what little plot there is is drowned by detail that may have journalistic value but is a poor cousin of good fiction. Mr. De Silva should read a little Thomas Perry. Then, he should go back to being a journalist.


    Did Providence Rag inspire you to do anything?

    Absolutely nothing.


    5 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jean Reston, Virginia 05-07-14
    Jean Reston, Virginia 05-07-14 Member Since 2008
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    "Another winner from Da Silva"

    I love this series. All of the recurring characters are extremely likeable and fleshed out. The story is complex, and the dilemma between journalistic ethics and the cold, hard reality of a serial killer is explored well. Despite the grim story, Bruce always provides some funny moments and quirky characters, of which Larry Bird, the bird, is an example. He continues to grow his characters, as the rich boy son of the publisher, "Thanks Dad" Mason, goes against type as an increasingly mature reporter and the ethical soul of the tale. I could quibble with a few unsuccessful (for me) short cuts and off notes, but this book is so likeable and gripping, I give it a pass.

    And then I must call out the reader, Jeff Woodman. He is so perfect that I feel sorry for people who just read the book and miss out on his perfect delivery, wonderful accents and timing genius. He elevates this book to well beyond what is written on the pages. DaSilva and Woodman are a match made in heaven!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mike Putnam CT 04-13-14
    Mike Putnam CT 04-13-14 Member Since 2012

    I drive a truck so I listen to a lot of books.

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    "Awesome book, a who done it until the end"
    Where does Providence Rag rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    Providence Rag rocked, it ranks right up there in my top 10. Book 3 of the Mulligan series did not disappoint, you do not need to read the first 2 to enjoy this book, it makes reference to the previous books but it is a novel all on its own.


    Did the plot keep you on the edge of your seat? How?

    The plot kept me guess until the very end, once I thought I had the book figured out I was wrong, it kept me guessing until the very end.


    Have you listened to any of Jeff Woodman’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    Jeff Woodman does and excellent job, his New England accent is right on, Mulligan and the other main characters all had their own voice, I could tell a different person was speaking each time, some just read the book, Jeff did a wicked good job.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    The book is based off a real life case from Rhode Island from some years ago, I was interested in this case so I did the natural thing... I Googled it, that made me aware of the case and I was not aware that this happened right here in my back yard.


    Any additional comments?

    Bruce DeSilva is from Rhode Island or he worked here because what I enjoyed was the land marks are correct, from a gas station on Post Rd. in Warwick to some of the neighborhoods, Newport and Narragansett, as Jeff is reading there have been times I will be passing the exact same spot as in the book. An excellent listen.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Meggin Reno, NV, United States 09-19-14
    Meggin Reno, NV, United States 09-19-14 Member Since 2009

    Speaker, Coach, Author - in Reno, NV (A GREAT place!) I've been an avid Audible fan for several years. Listen on my iPhone many hours each week.

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    "Where is Book 4?! Can't WAIT!!!"

    The previous two books were excellent but somehow, this one was even better! Apparently Bruce DeSilva is getting better and better and Liam Mulligan and the people around him - and the stories they're involved in - are more and more interesting. Keep writing! THANK YOU for a great story. The narrator is perfect for these books. Thankful they've kept Jeff Woodman for all the books.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Esther Dryden, Ontario, Canada 07-12-14
    Esther Dryden, Ontario, Canada 07-12-14 Member Since 2009
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    "Listened straight through"
    What did you love best about Providence Rag?

    I enjoyed the tightly knit plot of what happened when Kwami Diggs brutally murdered 2 women and 3 little girls before he was 16. Liam Mulligan, an investigative reporter for the Providence, Rhode Island, newspaper, identified him as the murderer and provided vital testimony to put him in jail, hopefully for life. However an antiquated R.I. law allowed Kwami who was charged as a minor, to be released once he reached the age of 21. Because of his heinous crimes and the glee he expressed in the original confession tape, the judicial system had been keeping him locked up by faking charges against him to keep him in jail. By this time, Kwami has been locked up for 18 years and his mother has hired a new lawyer to get him set free because she believes Kwami was framed for these horrible crimes. Mulligan's co-worker, Edward Mason, begins to dig into the charges that Kwami has been kept locked up for the previous 12 years due to trumped up charges and is horrified at the way the justice system has been perverted to keep this boy in prison-even though no one wants to release Kwami on the public.


    Did the plot keep you on the edge of your seat? How?

    This story is based on a real life incident and arrived at a satisfactory conclusion even though Kwami did get released from prison in the story. One wonders how things turned out in the real life situation. The entire book kept me wondering what was going to happen next. I was sorry to reach the end.


    What about Jeff Woodman’s performance did you like?

    He did the voices of the various characters very well. Every person had his/her own voice. He brought Kwami Diggs' aging mother alive so well I could almost see her standing in front of me-a slim aging black woman who has grieved and cried over her son for many years and who has desperately believed him innocent of all charges right up until she is finally forced to watch the tape of Kwami's confession when he was arrested at the age of 15 and forced to face his lies.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    I found the opening chapters to be graphic enough that i almost quit listening to it. i continued because i was drawn into the story very quickly.i found the basic premise of this book, that a psychopathic monster can be released into the community simply because he grew up to be terrifying. But even more terrifying is the idea that a prisoner who is legally entitled to be set free can be shanghaied into staying in prison by perjurous guards.


    Any additional comments?

    Legislators need to pay attention to the laws they make so this does not happen again!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    DiK 04-29-14
    DiK 04-29-14
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    "Soooo Scary"

    This is THE most scary story I have listened to. DeSilva kept the tension high throughout the book, only letting it down when the listener couldn''t bear another moment of it. The pacing of the story is very good. Nary a dull moment to be heard. And the reader, well, if there is a better one around, I haven't heard him/her. After listening to dozens of Audible Books by other readers, eff Woodman has become my reader of choice. I will definitely be looking for more of his books. His reading was flawless. He had perfect diction, perfect timing, perfect gender voice imitation, perfect pitch, perfect Everything. He didn't miss a beat anywhere in the telling of this tale. His reading was absolutely masterful. Who ever selected Woodman to do the reading definitely chose the best person for the job.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    don hickory creek, TX, United States 03-13-14
    don hickory creek, TX, United States 03-13-14 Member Since 2012
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    "I expected much more from DeSilva"
    What would have made Providence Rag better?

    Would have been much better if he could keep his stupid liberal political comments to himself.


    What do you think the narrator could have done better?

    Narrator is fine.


    You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    No


    2 of 10 people found this review helpful
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