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)
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.
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.
One of the top 10%.
I became friends with the characters... and made a few new enemies as well.
The respect shown to Mulligan by "the business men" by dismissing him from the long table before business was concluded.
"I gotta change that ring tone..."
If you like Lee Child and John Sanford you must buy this book.
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.
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.
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
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