EDGAR Award-winning author Bruce DeSilva delivers another outstanding mystery featuring his Providence, Rhode Island, investigative journalist Liam Mulligan in “A Scourge of Vipers.”
Mulligan’s life and job are in shambles. His new boss at the newspaper is a transplant from another state who is completely clueless about how Rhode Island or the city of Providence operates. Mulligan has to shuffle his boss’ incompetence with staying one step ahead of someone who doesn’t like him sticking his nose where it doesn’t belong.
The governor has a bold plan to solve the state’s budget woes by legalizing sports gambling. The chaos that erupts involves gambling foes who don’t want the government meddling to those who would prefer private interests handle the transactions. Some would grease the palms and bribe state legislators for their votes.
When major crimes occur that seem to tie in with the potential new law, Mulligan finds himself surrounded by untrustworthy informants and people who want him out of the way.
Mulligan is a wisecracking bulldog. However, with work and his personal life making it difficult to concentrate on cracking the case, he might not be able to escape unscathed this time.
The city of Providence comes it to vivid life, and the cast of quirky characters makes “A Scourge of Vipers” a perfect read for hard-boiled mystery fans who also enjoy dashes of humor. What makes the story exceptional is that while all of this is happening, DeSilva, a retired Associated Press writing coach, forces the reader to examine the ramifications of how politics and money don’t mix. (AP)