From award-winning New York Times best-selling author Reed Farrel Coleman comes a gritty, atmospheric new series about the other side of Long Island, far from the wealth of the Hamptons, where real people live - and die.
Gus Murphy thought he had the world all figured out. A retired Suffolk County cop, he had everything a man could want: a great marriage, two kids, a nice house, and the rest of his life ahead of him. But when tragedy strikes, his life is thrown into complete disarray. In the course of a single deadly moment, his family is blown apart, and Gus is transformed from a man who believes he understands everything into a man who understands nothing.
Divorced and working as a courtesy van driver for the run-down hotel in which he has a room, Gus has settled into a mindless, soulless routine that barely keeps his grief at arm's length. But his comfortable waking trance comes to an end when ex-con Tommy Delcamino comes to him for help. Four months earlier, TJ Delcamino's battered body was discovered in a wooded lot, yet the police don't seem interested in pursuing the killers. In desperation, Tommy seeks out the only cop he ever trusted: Gus Murphy.
Gus reluctantly agrees to see what he can uncover. As he begins to sweep away the layers of dust that have collected over the case during the intervening months, Gus finds that Delcamino is telling the truth. It seems that everyone involved with the late TJ Delcamino - from his best friend to his girlfriend, from a gang enforcer to a mafia capo and even the police - has something to hide, and all are willing to go to extreme lengths to hide it. Gus has taken on a dangerous favor as he claws his way back to take a place among the living, all while searching through the sewers for a killer.
©2016 Reed F. Coleman, Inc. (P)2016 Blackstone Audio, Inc.
Love a good mystery, but don't care much for pure thrillers.
Coleman is an excellent writer; I was happy to have discovered him years ago. I have listened to 8 of his books and read others. I especially enjoyed the Moe Praeger series. However, I found this outing quite disappointing. The protagonist, Gus Murphy, is clinically depressed because his 20-year old son, his pride and joy, dropped dead from an undetected heart defect while playing basketball. This has in fact occurred in real life. As a father of an adult son, I can imagine the grief that followed. The disintegration of his heretofore wonderful family life is all too believable. This is not an event that one can ever get over, and it takes a long time before a parent can resume full-functioning. I also understand depression; it cannot be reasoned with. I was glad he got help from a competent therapist. Nevertheless, it doesn't make for an interesting story to listen repeatedly to Gus's recitation of the same list of grievances, his loss of faith, his lack of motivation, the breakup of his marriage, his daughter's emotional problems, his temper tantrums, his boozing, etc. Sometimes it seemed like filler. It interfered with the progress of the story which became terribly tedious. Incidentally, there is a mystery to be solved -- an increasing number of interrelated murders, a mixture of gangs, drugs, and police corruption. Unfortunately, you've heard it all before. Still, it may have been interesting to follow his progress toward solving the puzzles had it not taken second place to his mood swings. I even lost track of the nicknames of some of the characters; there are a great many of them.
This is clearly the first of a series; I hope that Gus's emotional state at the end of the book allows the author to bring future episodes up to the level of the Moe Praeger series. I don't want to wade through another swamp again.
Let me be clear - this is not great literature! But, if you're looking for a story to kill time; one that if you miss a minute or two here and there you won't lose the direction of the story line, this one's for you! It is cliche - a typical "noir" mystery, but Gus Murphy is both interesting and entertaining enough to wish for more stories about him. Yes, as some have said, it sounds more "Boston" than "Lon-G-island," but that doesn't take away from the story at all. Please, Reed - give us another Gus!
I liked the start of this book and that was about it. The more I listened the more cliche it became. The narrator was difficult to listen to and often sounded more like a cheesy cartoon character than a serious character in a grown up novel. Half way through I would have rated it 3 stars but as it went on I just wanted it to be over.
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