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Rogue Island | [Bruce DeSilva]

Rogue Island

Liam Mulligan is as old school as a newspaper man gets. His beat is Providence, Rhode Island, and he knows every street and alley. He knows the priests and prostitutes, the cops and street thugs. He knows the mobsters and politicians--who are pretty much one and the same. Someone is systematically burning down the neighborhood Mulligan grew up in, people he knows and loves are perishing in the flames, and the public is on the verge of panic.
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Audible Editor Reviews

Bruce DeSilva's Rogue Island is steeped in nostalgia; ostensibly set in the present, it mourns a dying (dead?) world where the newspaper journalists – embodied here by one Liam Mulligan - are campaigners for truth and justice, obstinately following leads from door to door, working round the clock to get their name on the by-line. The arson attacks that plague the city of Providence seem almost honest in their Luddite criminality compared with the real villains of the book: social media whiz kids and property developers, both of whom are guilty in DeSilva's eyes of erasing the past and bastardising once-familiar landscape.

A lot of modern crime writing stakes out new literary territory, consciously imbuing a previously-overlooked environment with a semi-mythological sense of possibility; Jonathan Lethem achieved this feat in Motherless Brooklyn. In Rogue Island, the geography comes with its own inferiority complex: the locally-set movie Dumb and Dumber is a repeated reference point. But DeSilva's Rhode Island is a rich creation, one which he seems to have looked backward in order to achieve. It's populated with a cast of characters that Damon Runyon would recognise: bookies and monsters, tough-talking editors. The one character with a modern job description is the son of the newspaper's publisher. Needless to say, Mulligan views him with contempt, although Woodman's sympathetic portrayal signals that he will emerge as one of the good guys.

Mulligan is a late-thirties Pulitzer-prize winner in a world where the print journalist is as anachronistic as the camel-coat wearing private detective, many of whose trappings Mulligan shares – a protracted adolescent with an ex-wife problem. Jeff Woodham's engaging portrayal fends off the bitterness that smudges the edges of the character. When Mulligan repeatedly calls the same number to chase a lead, Woodham's range of comic voices are a treat. He's at his most impassioned when Mulligan eulogises newspapers, "the only institution that people trust" – or rather, as the distinct shift of tone here makes clear, it's DeSilva who’s doing the eulogising. —Dafydd Phillips

Publisher's Summary

Liam Mulligan is as old school as a newspaper man gets. His beat is Providence, Rhode Island, and he knows every street and alley. He knows the priests and prostitutes, the cops and street thugs. He knows the mobsters and politicians - who are pretty much one and the same. Someone is systematically burning down the neighborhood Mulligan grew up in, people he knows and loves are perishing in the flames, and the public is on the verge of panic. With the police looking for answers in all the wrong places, and with the whole city of Providence on his back, Mulligan must find the hand that strikes the match.

BONUS AUDIO: Includes an exclusive introduction written and read by author Bruce DeSilva.

©2010 Bruce DeSilva (P)2011 Audible, Inc.

What the Critics Say

  • Edgar Award, Best First Novel, 2011
  • Macavity Award, Best First Mystery Novel, 2011

"This tremendously entertaining crime novel is definitely one of the best of the year." (Booklist)

"The smallest state bursts with crime, corruption, wisecracks, and neo-noir atmosphere in Bruce DeSilva's blistering debut." (Kirkus Reviews)

"Rogue Island 'has raised the bar for all books of its kind.'" (The Dallas Morning News)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.7 (759 )
5 star
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3.7 (574 )
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Story
4.0 (582 )
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Elbara Washington DC 12-02-13
    Elbara Washington DC 12-02-13 Member Since 2003
    HELPFUL VOTES
    27
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    "Witty and Winning!"

    Delightful book -- full of interesting characters, dark humor, and social/political commentary delivered with a deft touch. Terrific narrator -- local color is spot on. Oh, and a good story too. I even enjoyed some oblique potshots at my august alma mater. All in all, highly recommended.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Meghan SILVER SPRING, MD, United States 09-21-13
    Meghan SILVER SPRING, MD, United States 09-21-13 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Bought it for the narrator listened for the story"
    What did you love best about Rogue Island?

    Jeff Woodman nailed the Rhode Island accent. I cracked up on the subway when he did the main character disguising his voice on the phone. The first time I listened to a book he narrated it was Scottish, English, and Irish.


    What does Jeff Woodman and Bruce DeSilva (Introduction) bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    I liked hearing directly from the author why he wrote the book.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sparkly SF, CA, United States 08-16-13
    Sparkly SF, CA, United States 08-16-13 Member Since 2008

    interested in history, science, and pulp fiction

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Excellent regional mystery."

    This is a great update on the reporter as crime fighter trope - this isn't 'His Girl Friday,' it's a depressed newsroom with layoffs and budget cuts, and has a more unvarnished view of the journalism industry. The protagonist, Mulligan, has issues, of course, but also has an entertaining cast of acquaintances and sources, in varying shades of unsavory. The author does a great job of creating the look and feel of this town. This first is an excellent book, with a lot of heart. I recommend 'Cliff Walk' as well, a solid follow up.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Shirley Thousand Oaks, CA, USA 06-29-13
    Shirley Thousand Oaks, CA, USA 06-29-13 Member Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A Must LISTEN"
    Would you listen to Rogue Island again? Why?

    I thoroughly enjoyed listening to this book--but I doubt the paper version could compare. The performance is so wonderful, and the timing of lines so perfect that I don't believe I would have enjoyed it half as much if I hadn't listened to it on Audible. I would listen to it a second time if on a drive with my husband. Loved the baseball elements throughout.


    What does Jeff Woodman and Bruce DeSilva (Introduction) bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Everything--as mentioned above. Accents are so important to the characters in this book. And the timing of the lines is perfect.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    No--I enjoy prolonging the end of the best books I hear or read.


    Any additional comments?

    The language--Fword used as an adjective to most nouns--might bother some. But it created the characters so beautifully. Not a good choice if you are listening with children in the car! I do find that after I listen to a book like this I find myself cursing more often.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ted Lancaster, PA, United States 10-07-12
    Ted Lancaster, PA, United States 10-07-12 Member Since 2010

    Don't know what I want to be when I grow up. Trip's cool though. Use Audible to make gym-training sane... And rip my imagination.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    545
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    "Pow---Er--Fully Wonderful!"

    Let me get the narration and production out of the way first. Terrific. Okay, now for the plot... It works on every level. More twists than Whoopie Goldberg's locks. Characters? Every one, even those only on the phone... worked. And when I say worked... I meant the all did heavy lifting. This book made me want to cut out the world and just listen. Can't write more, I'm off to find the next Bruce DeSilva novel. Oh BTW... look at my reviews... I'm a HARD grader... and look... LOOK! FIVE STARS. Wheeeee.... :-)

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Nancy Cleveland, TN, United States 07-23-12
    Nancy Cleveland, TN, United States 07-23-12 Member Since 2003
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Very Entertaining!"

    This was my first book by this author. I enjoyed the story and the bits of humor interjected; the narrator's performance was excellent. My only recommendation to the author for future books is to limit the amount of sports talk. Many of us reading these books are not sports fans and are not familiar with the players, teams, etc. I enjoyed the mystery and although you could figure out much of it, that didn't detract from the story. I loved the ending, which is important to me (to have an ending that ties up all loose ends and doesn't leave you either hanging or depressed). All and all this is a very good book and I would highly recommend it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jean Reston, Virginia 06-18-12
    Jean Reston, Virginia 06-18-12 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "So much fun it should be illegal!"

    This is my first experience with Bruce DaSilva. The writing is very funny, but it's the narrator who makes it priceless. His various Rhode Island accents are brilliant. I listened to it on the treadmill and I laughed like an idiot. Aidiobooks don't often make me laugh out loud, and I love it when one does. The writing reminds me of the late and very much lamented Donald Westlake. Same cast of looney and slightly demented characters. I will definitely get more of the Mulligan series by DaSilva.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Larry Crosby, TX, United States 06-02-12
    Larry Crosby, TX, United States 06-02-12 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
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    "Great New Series"
    Where does Rogue Island rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    One of the top 10%.


    What did you like best about this story?

    I became friends with the characters... and made a few new enemies as well.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    The respect shown to Mulligan by "the business men" by dismissing him from the long table before business was concluded.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    "I gotta change that ring tone..."


    Any additional comments?

    If you like Lee Child and John Sanford you must buy this book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Barbara MARIETTA, GA, United States 05-26-12
    Barbara MARIETTA, GA, United States 05-26-12 Member Since 2004

    WildWiseWoman

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "One of the Top Debuts of The Decade"

    An almost perfect presentation of a brilliant, engaging, clever, wry and gripping story. The characters are brand-new, yet so tenderly brought to life that you feel you'd recognize them on the street. This book packs an emotional wallop and still manages to be wholly believable. I just learned that the second book in the series is out, and I know what I'm listening to next!

    The main character may be closer to a charming Andy Carpenter or young Spenser, but his story places him in sinister company and surroundings more familiar to readers of Robert Crais, Michael Connelly, Adrian McKinty and Dennis LeHane. Anyone who appreciates great storytelling and flawless characterizations will love this audiobook.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sean NORTH OGDEN, UT, United States 04-23-12
    Sean NORTH OGDEN, UT, United States 04-23-12 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
    7
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    "Could not make it through"

    Although this may have a wonderful story, I cannot fully comment. I admit to being an unusual reader. I greatly dislike vulgar speech. The F word repeated so often does make any book for me virtually unreadable. I made it through a few hours, then stopped. I realize I am not the audience for this book, but I personally appreciate it when someone else writes a review that comments on such strong language.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
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