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
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.
"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)
NOT sure, this book was not the kind of books I enjoy. It was to me like an old Dick Tracy storyline and just moved too slowly for me, I had to download it again before writing a review because I did NOT remember what it was about that is how interesting it was for...however this only my opinion, I am sure that someone else would probably write a GLOWING REVIEW opposed to what I have written, if this is the kind of book they enjoy.
I have to say that IF it were NOT for the Narrator who did a great job it would have been a total bust for me....LOL Kudos to him...
NOT FOR ME!
Rhode Island Idolized
Yes. His feel for characterization is very strong, with novel plot lines.. The pace & dialogue rolls along.
Yes. Different tempo & accent for each character.
A good listen. Some slightly implausible plot lines, but this IS a fiction. It's placed strongly in a locale that was fascinating to me. Not great literature, but it captured my attention from the beginning and kept me involved to the end.
Great background story for a long drive through Iowa and Wisconsin.....
No... but still good
It's probably about 4th or 5th highest.
I fear I may be insulting the book if I compared to other mystery/thriller novels out there, since it's probably better than most like it; a genuinely interesting mystery with more believable characters and relationships than you would expect. Minimalist writing with the appropriate amount of swearing and powerful imagery make it stand out from it's cluttered genre.
When Rosie walks out of the burning building cradling that helmet...
The character in the book, the narator, and the subject matter.
a really fun listen
I thoroughly enjoyed listening to this book. The narration with the New England accent was spot on.
This is the first time I had the opportunity to listen to Jeff Woodman. I will look for him in the future. Can't wait for Bruce DeSilva to write another novel.
I just kept smiling as I listened to the New England idioms. Not a heavy plot, but sometimes an entertaining story is all you need.
After a slow start the story came alive and though it wasn't the most riveting story I've heard it was good.
Yes. It's a good fast listen.
Yes although it wasn't to hard to figure where it was going.
The reading was good.
What happens to the photographer.
Mr. DeSilva has studied all the great noir mystery writers and has the style down cold. He tells a good story and has a great sense of place, Providence RI. What he doesn't have is an original voice. This sometimes has a, paint by the numbers feel. Still, it kept me listening to the end to find out what happens next.
I was skeptical about this book, but thoroughly enjoyed it! It had some nice twists and turns. The narration was good, but the narrator certainly was not from Rho Dieland!
Worthy of a credit. A quick and enjoyable read!
As one who comes from Rhode Island, I thoroughly enjoyed this book and the characterizations by the author. How true! I was thrilled the narrator got the RI accent down pat.
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