Former Suffolk County cop Gus Murphy returns to prowl the meaner streets of Long Island's darkest precincts with a Russian mercenary at his back in the stunning second installment of Reed Farrel Coleman's critically acclaimed, Edgar-nominated series.Read more...
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Former Suffolk County cop Gus Murphy returns to prowl the meaner streets of Long Island's darkest precincts with a Russian mercenary at his back in the stunning second installment of Reed Farrel Coleman's critically acclaimed, Edgar-nominated series.
Gus Murphy and his girlfriend, Magdalena, are put in harm's way when Gus is caught up in the distant aftershocks of heinous crimes committed decades ago in Vietnam and Russia. Gus's ex-priest pal, Bill Kilkenny, introduces him to a wealthy businessman anxious to have someone look more deeply into the brutal murder of his granddaughter. Though the police already have the girl's murderer in custody, they have been unable to provide a reason for the killing. The businessman, Spears, offers big incentives if Gus can supply him with what the cops cannot--a motive.
Later that same day, Gus witnesses the execution of a man who has just met with his friend Slava. As Gus looks into the girl's murder and tries to protect Slava from the executioner's bullet, he must navigate a minefield populated by hostile cops, street gangs, and a Russian mercenary who will stop at nothing to do his master's bidding. But in trying to solve the girl's murder and save his friend, Gus may be opening a door into a past that was best left forgotten. Can he fix the damage done, or is it true that what you break you own...forever?
- ISBN-13: 9780399173042
- ISBN-10: 0399173048
- Publisher: G.P. Putnam's Sons
- Publish Date: February 2017
- Page Count: 368
Series: Gus Murphy Novel #2
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2016-11-21
- Reviewer: Staff
Shamus Awardwinner Coleman delves deep into the wounded psyche of his ex-cop lead, Gus Murphy, in his outstanding sequel to 2016s Where It Hurts. Gus, whos still struggling with the sudden death of his 20-year-old son, John Jr., kills time working as a courtesy-van driver shuttling between a ratty Suffolk County hotel and Long Islands MacArthur Airport. Meanwhile, the hidden past of his friend Slava Podalak, the hotels night bellman, has resurfaced with a vengeance, and Gus becomes a witness to murder. In addition, Guss confidant, Bill Kilkenny, a former priest, asks him to help the wealthy Micah Spears find out not who butchered his granddaughter but why. Spears makes Gus an offer impossible to resistfunding a youth sports foundation in John Jr.s name. Coleman doesnt pull any punches or settle for pat character arcs in presenting a realistically flawed Gus, who realizes that his morality was not so much a search for the truth as a set of rationalizations that let sleep at night. Agent: David Hale Smith, Inkwell Management. (Feb.)
Whodunit: A chilly Icelandic mystery with hints of Agatha Christie
Yes, yes, another clever Scandinavian mystery novel. Can’t those folks ever sit down and write an awful book? If Ragnar Jonasson’s Snowblind is any indication, the answer is no. The novel is set in the tiny, north coast town of Siglufjörður, Iceland, a place as remote as it is difficult to pronounce. In the beginning, nobody in Siglufjörður locks his or her doors; by the time the book is halfway done, everybody does. Not that it will help much as the bodies begin to pile up in the newly crimson snow. If the book has overtones of Agatha Christie’s works, that should come as no surprise, because before embarking on a writing career of his own, Jonasson translated 14 of Christie’s books into his native Icelandic. And Snowblind definitely has the classic red herrings, plot twists and surprises that characterize the best of Christie’s work. Jonasson’s latest is nicely done and simply begs for a sequel.
NOT TO BE IGNORED
John Lescroart, in a major diversion from his Dismas Hardy legal-beagle series, lures readers into a whirlpool of obsession, revenge and murder with his standalone thriller, Fatal. It starts out simply enough, with a visceral chemical attraction between two married people—the problem being that they’re not married to each other. At the outset, Kate is the spider and Peter is the willing fly. But as time goes by, his desire for her begins to take over his every waking moment. Peter’s work suffers, his marriage inevitably suffers and his relationships with friends and associates begin to sour. But this all gets resolved fairly quickly—with his violent death. The suspect list is long and varied: his eldest son, who purchased an unregistered handgun; his put-upon wife; his erstwhile paramour; his paramour’s jealous husband; the love-struck secretary—and I am just scratching the surface here. Rendered every bit as well as you’d expect from such an experienced storyteller, this is a book you will want to finish in one sitting.
TROUBLES WILL FOLLOW
Undoubtedly, I am not the first to compare Reed Farrel Coleman’s writing to that of Dashiell Hammett or Raymond Chandler, and I suspect that I won’t be the last. Coleman’s protagonist, ex-cop Gus Murphy, is given to grim humors and is introspective almost to a fault, giving him a world-weary, bleary-eyed take on life, so similar to Hammett and Chandler’s delightfully flawed characters. What You Break finds Murphy at odds with his memories, his ex-wife and the Russian mob. On a whim, he follows a friend he believes may be in danger, and scant minutes later, he watches the gangland execution of an unsavory-looking character. Meanwhile, he has reluctantly accepted the highly remunerative work of looking into the stabbing murder of a young woman, for which there is a likely guilty suspect but no evident motive. These two disparate cases weave together, their major common factor being Gus Murphy and his dogged determination to seek out the truth.
TOP PICK IN MYSTERY
Hideo Yokoyama’s Six Four, translated by Jonathan Lloyd-Davies, is by no means just another mystery novel, but rather an award-winning cultural phenomenon on the scale of Stieg Larsson’s Millennium Trilogy. In its first week on sale in Japan, more than 1 million copies of Six Four were sold. The book went on to make its way solidly into the bestseller list in the U.K. All of that to say, there is a lot of buzz around this book, all of it well deserved. The story takes place in Prefecture P, a nonexistent Japanese city. The mystery has its roots in a crime that took place in the 1980s. A 7-year-old girl was kidnapped, and years later, the abduction and subsequent death of the child remains unsolved, a serious “loss of face” for the Prefecture P police department. The reinvestigation into the case falls to an unlikely candidate, Yoshinobu Mikami, for whom the case has a particular resonance: Mikami’s own daughter has gone missing, and the poignant similarities between the cases are not lost on the canny detective. Further complicating matters is the internecine warfare between the administrative and investigative components of the police department. Each has an axe to grind, with both axes hanging directly over Mikami’s outstretched neck. Yokoyama’s prose is crisp and skillfully translated; the plot, while complicated, is thoroughly believable and compelling. This is a major book, one that will stay in your mind well after you have turned the last page.