Where It Hurts

The Gus Murphy Series, Book 1
Narrated by: Chris Andrew Ciulla
Series: The Gus Murphy Series, Book 1
Length: 10 hrs and 31 mins
4 out of 5 stars (160 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

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.

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

A depressing, slow-moving story.

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.

6 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

A Hard-boiled Character Study

Like Coleman's Moe Prager books, Where it Hurts is as much character study as mystery and it's strength lies in it's heartbroken protagonist, Gus Murphy. Murphy's life is in disarray when we meet him and he's wounded enough to be okay with that. However, as the mystery at the center of this fine novel takes shape, Murphy is drawn into and changed by it. It's a satisfying journey, well narrated by Chris Andrew Ciulla. Coleman's strengths as a writer are all on display: good pacing, an intriguing story and most importantly an emotionally engaging character at the heart of the tale. I really enjoyed it.

4 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Great Story and Character Development

I really enjoyed this book and the development of Gus Murphy (the main character) was done so perfectly. This isn't about someone trying to be a super hero, he is flawed, confused and real.

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Main character became family.

Loved the narrator's characterizations. Story was interesting, became engrossing, ended with my enchantment with Gus.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Redemption, Long Island sryle

Interesting characters and plotting raise Coleman's work above many of his contemporaries. The narration was also spot on...

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Great book!

It took me a while to finish this one at 9+ hours but the story was gripping and it all came together at the end. Looking for other books by this author.

1 person found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

average to above average

it's ok....not bad but not great either. it was enjoyable. it is worth reading and enjoying

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Ok

This book is slow. Lots of talk, interesting low life characters, a good book for, perhaps, fans of ex-cops, mob and cartel guys, human predators and humqn prey.

1 person found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Decent

Great plot. Loved the energy of the narrator, but the accent was more Boston than L.I.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

NO. JUST NO.

Narrators, of course, can make or break an audiobook; Chris Andrew Ciulla smashed this one into pieces. His speed-reading thru parts of the story often made the words trip over themselves and difficult to understand. His rendition of certain characters' dialogue was cartoonish and, on a few occasions, even racist. I had to stop listening halfway thru this audiobook and will return it for a refund.

2 people found this helpful