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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.
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.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful
I had looked forward to getting to know the characters in this story, because they were mentioned by other reviewers as being interesting. And, as a former reporter, I looked forward to reading about the old newspaper world I knew back in the day. But, this story's detailed descriptions of torturing animals and slashing women and children were more than I could take. I can't read this junk. I don't want it in my head. And it's so unnecessary for the story.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
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!
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
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
What disappointed you about Providence Rag?
The heinous crimes the author describes are terribly disturbing. Sounds like a very sick mind to me. After the first, I was hoping that the remainder of the book would be bringing the depraved butcher to justice and I wouldn't be subjected to more details about a teenage boy hacking females to death and then pleasuring himself over their bloody bodies. Nope. The author came up with more of his sick mind candy.
What was most disappointing about Bruce DeSilva’s story?
After reading his first book a few years ago, I was thrilled to see Audible had to more since I had last looked. Both were disturbing. Repeatedly, I asked myself what kind of person puts this stuff down on paper. The author also clearly has a lot of hatred for anyone right of center in the political spectrum, has a special dislike for black conservatives, and seems to be a trolling name-dropper as he throws red meat to the left-leaning crowd in his attempt to gain readers. I really enjoy the ongoing thread of the Red Sox stuff, but the rest became to overwhelming. It was as if the author took all the hot button issues from MSNBC and tried to find a way to weave them all in - sometimes stuffing them into a sentence or two - to make his book politically and PC relevant.
What does Jeff Woodman bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?
Enjoyed the narrator - especially in the first book. Even that became less enjoyable due to the content.
What character would you cut from Providence Rag?
No character, per se, just a lot of what I described above. Well, I guess I would get rid of the adolescent who tortures and kills animals, butchers females of all ages and then masturbates on their bodies. Yeah. I would get rid of that character.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
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?
7 of 10 people found this review helpful
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.
5 of 7 people found this review helpful
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 5 people found this review helpful
I enjoyed the first two books in this series and wanted to enjoy this one. I could not, however. The descriptions of the mutilations in the first few pages of the book are more than I want to deal with, and I am not normally squeamish. I listened for about half and hour before I just quit and deleted it from my device. Unfortunately, some things just cannot be unheard.
Is this a good book? I don't know and I don't care. The graphics are so intense that Audible really should put a bold-font warning in the books description.
Loved the story - but the sense of place and the social structure of Little Rhody are what make deSilvas' books so great.