ROGUE ISLAND is a terrific mystery/thriller in the best hardboiled tradition.
Its protagonist—Liam Mulligan—is a savvy, wise-cracking, skeptical-on-the-verge-of-becoming-cynical newspaper reporter delving relentlessly into whatever/whoever is behind a string of deadly arsons in the Mount Hope section of Providence, Rhode Island.
Mulligan knows his city inside and out—from its worst to its best, and everything in between. He also knows its people, having friends as well as enemies at all levels. And above all he knows that he is among the last of a dying breed, inasmuch as the impact of print journalism is declining all across the country. But none of that is damn well going to stop him from continuing to do his job the only way he knows how.
DeSilva's multi-award winning writing style (Edgar and Macavity – not to mention placing as a finalist for a Shamus, Barry, and Anthony) is fast-paced yet richly detailed, nailing a character or painting a scene with clear, concise strokes. Mulligan's wise cracks and wry observations are as witty (and often laugh-out-loud funny) as anything going today. But there is a grittiness and depth to this tale as well, never letting the reader forget for a minute that cruel, cowardly crimes are being committed and innocent lives (some of them children – as described in the powerful opening scene) are too often left as smoldering victims.
Certain plot elements may be somewhat standard, but the polished writing and colorful characterizations manage to elevate everything several notches up the ladder.
Mulligan makes for an engaging, memorable hero and readers—including this one—will certainly be clamoring to see more of him.
Persevere --- WD