Michael Haskins

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

"Cliff Walk" by Bruce DeSilva

My friend Bruce DeSilva's second Liam Mulligan crime novel is out and getting rave reviews.

Publishers Weekly gave it a coveted starred review, saying, "Look for this one to garner more award nominations." Booklist also gave it a starred review, calling the plot "exquisite" and saying it is "terrific on every level."

One again, the story revolves around the tumultuous life of Liam Mulligan, a wise-cracking investigative reporter for a dying Providence, R.I., newspaper.  As the tale opens, prostitution is legal in the state (which it really was until two years ago.) Politicians are making a lot of speeches about the shame of it, but they aren't doing anything about it. Mulligan suspects somebody is being paid off.

As he investigates, a child's severed arm is discovered in a pile of garbage at a local pig farm. Then the body of an internet pornographer turns up at the bottom of the famous Cliff Walk in nearby Newport. At first the killings seem random, but as Mulligan keeps digging, strange connections begin to emerge.
Promised free sex with hookers if he minds his own business--and a savage beating if he doesn't--Mulligan enlists the help of Thanks-Dad, the newspaper publisher's son, and Attila the Nun, the state's colorful attorney general, in his quest for the truth. What he learns will lead him to question his long-held beliefs about sexual morality, shake his tenuous religious faith, and leave him wondering who his real friends are. Cliff Walk is at once a hardboiled mystery and a serious exploration of sex and religion in the age of pornography.

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