Cliff Walk (Liam Mulligan Series #2) [NOOK Book]

Overview

Prostitution has been legal in Rhode Island for more than a decade; Liam Mulligan, an old-school investigative reporter at dying Providence newspaper, suspects the governor has been taking payoffs to keep it that way. But this isn't the only story making headlines…a child's severed arm is discovered in a pile of garbage at a pig farm. Then the body of an internet pornographer is found sprawled on the rocks at the base of Newport's famous Cliff Walk.

At first, the killings seem ...

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Cliff Walk (Liam Mulligan Series #2)

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Overview

Prostitution has been legal in Rhode Island for more than a decade; Liam Mulligan, an old-school investigative reporter at dying Providence newspaper, suspects the governor has been taking payoffs to keep it that way. But this isn't the only story making headlines…a child's severed arm is discovered in a pile of garbage at a pig farm. Then the body of an internet pornographer is found sprawled on the rocks at the base of Newport's famous Cliff Walk.

At first, the killings seem random, but as Mulligan keeps digging into the state's thriving sex business, strange connections emerge. Promised free sex with hookers if he minds his own business--and a beating if he doesn't--Mulligan enlists Thanks-Dad, the newspaper publisher's son, and Attila the Nun, the state's colorful Attorney General, in his quest for the truth. What Mulligan learns will lead him to question his beliefs about sexual morality, shake his tenuous religious faith, and leave him wondering who his real friends are.

Cliff Walk is at once a hard-boiled mystery and an exploration of sex and religion in the age of pornography. Written with the unique and powerful voice that won DeSilva an Edgar Award for Best First Novel, Cliff Walk lifts Mulligan into the pantheon of great suspense heroes and is a giant leap for the career of Bruce DeSilva.

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Editorial Reviews

Gerald Bartell
Dark and gruesome as the plot's subjects may be, DeSilva never lets the work turn pretentious or entirely bleak. A polished, engaging raconteur, he spikes the tale with wisecracks and warms it with moments of genuine sentiment…DeSilva also populates Cliff Walk with appealing, offbeat characters, people you want to chat with over coffee or something stronger. With a reporter's gimlet eye, DeSilva winnows out their contradictions and vulnerabilities.
—The Washington Post
Publishers Weekly
The legality of prostitution in Rhode Island figures prominently in the plot of DeSilva’s sterling follow-up to 2010’s Rogue Island, which won Edgar and Macavity awards for best first novel. Liam Mulligan, a reporter for the declining Providence Dispatch, must handle a range of stories, from the discovery of body parts in Scalici Recycling’s pig farm in Pascoag to the apparent murder of Sal Maniella, pornographer and owner of several strip clubs, whose body is found on the rocks below Newport’s famed Cliff Walk. Mulligan’s investigative work keeps him hopping, as do sexy black lawyer Yolanda Mosley-Jones, who represents the Maniellas; Mulligan’s divorce-seeking wife, Dorcas; and Maniella’s ex-SEAL bodyguards. Mulligan sports a bad ulcer, plenty of attitude, and connections that span all strata of society. The brilliantly limned supporting characters include Rhode Island attorney general Fiona McNerney (aka Attila the Nun) and earnest Edward Anthony Mason IV, “the scion of six inbred Yankee families that had owned the Dispatch since the Civil War.” Look for this one to garner more award nominations. Agent: Susanna Einstein, LJK Literary. (May)
From the Publisher
"Sterling follow-up to 2010’s Rogue Island.... brilliantly limned supporting characters."

Publishers Weekly (Starred Review)

 

"The epic, warts-and-all portrait of the city is scathing; ulcer-ridden wiseacre Mulligan ... is never less than compelling company; and the analogies between the newspaper business and the porn business are spot-on."

Kirkus Reviews

 

Kirkus Reviews
Fresh from the Most Corrupt State competition comes a second persuasive entry that links pretty much every citizen of Providence to a child-snuff-porn ring. Cosmo Scalici, convinced that he deserves more respect as a waste recycler who mainly feeds trash to pigs, is less than happy when one of his hogs beats him out for the child's hand that he's just glimpsed. Soon after a post-slaughter autopsy confirms Scalici's find, along with his dim prospects for respect, someone--State Police Capt. Steve Parisi won't confirm whether it's Salvatore Maniella, Rhode Island's premier pornographer--gets shot to death and takes a thoroughly disfiguring header off Newport's scenic Cliff Walk. The two incidents are obviously linked, but in order to connect the dots, reporter Liam Mulligan, of the dying Providence Dispatch, will have to wade through a pit of waist-high filth: an online ring of child pornographers, a vigilante who's riding around town executing same, an interchangeable series of pole dancers coming on to him (who knew prostitution was legal in Rhode Island until 2010?) and bodyguards warning him to quit hassling Sal Maniella's daughter Vanessa, queen of the city's strip clubs, and of course Mulligan's estranged wife, Dorcas, who phones him every time she goes off her meds. The high-casualty plot is a mess. But the epic, warts-and-all portrait of the city is scathing; ulcer-ridden wiseacre Mulligan (Rogue Island, 2010) is never less than compelling company; and the analogies between the newspaper business and the porn business are spot-on. As in Mulligan's hard-nosed debut, the real star here is Providence, which the author knows intimately.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781429957977
  • Publisher: Tom Doherty Associates
  • Publication date: 5/22/2012
  • Series: Liam Mulligan Series, #2
  • Sold by: Macmillan
  • Format: eBook
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 320
  • Sales rank: 46,517
  • File size: 877 KB

Meet the Author

Bruce DeSilva spent forty-one- years as a journalist before writing Rogue Island, his first novel, which won the 2011 Edgar Award for Best First Novel and the 2011 Macavity Award for best debut. Formerly the Associated Press's writing coach, responsible for training AP journalists worldwide, DeSilva is now a master's thesis advisor at the Columbia University School of Journalism. DeSilva and his wife, the poet Patricia Smith, live in Howell, New Jersey, with their granddaughter, Mikaila, and two enormous canines, a Bernese Mountain Dog named Brady and a mutt named Rondo.


Bruce DeSilva's crime fiction has won the Edgar and Macavity Awards; has been listed as a finalist for the Shamus, Anthony, and Barry Awards; and has been published in ten foreign languages. His short stories have appeared in Akashic Press's award-winning noir anthologies. He has reviewed books for The New York Times Sunday Book Review and Publishers Weekly, and his reviews for The Associated Press have appeared in hundreds of other publications. Previously, he was a journalist for forty years, most recently as writing coach world-wide for The Associated Press, editing stories that won nearly every major journalism prize including the Pulitzer. He has worked as a consultant for fifty newspapers, taught at the University of Michigan and the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, and lectured at Harvard University's Nieman Foundation. He and his wife, the poet Patricia Smith, live in New Jersey with two enormous dogs named Brady and Rondo. He is the author of Rogue Island, Cliff Walk and Providence Rag.
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Read an Excerpt

1

 

 

Cosmo Scalici hollered over the grunts and squeals of three thousand hogs rooting in his muddy outdoor pens. “Right here’s where I found it, poking outta this pile of garbage. Gave me the creeps, the way the fingers curled like it wanted me to come closer.”

“What did you do?” I hollered back.

“Jumped the fence and tried to snatch it, but one of the sows beat me to it.”

“Couldn’t get it away from her?”

“You shittin’ me? Ever try to wrestle lunch from a six-hundred-pound hog? I whacked her on the snout with a shovel my guys use to muck the pens. She didn’t even blink.”

To mask the stink, we puffed on cigars, his a Royal Jamaica, mine a Cohiba.

“Jesus, Mary, and Joseph,” he said. “The nails were painted pink, and it was so small. The little girl that arm came from couldn’ta been more than nine years old. The sow just wolfed it down. You could hear the bones crunch in her teeth.”

“Where’s the hog now, Cosmo?”

“State cops shot her in the head, loaded her in a van, and took off. Said they was gonna open her stomach, see what’s left of the evidence. I told ’em, that’s two hundred and fifty bucks’ worth of chops and bacon wholesale, so you damn well better send me a check ’less you want me to sue your ass.”

“Any other body parts turn up?”

“The cops spent a couple hours raking through the garbage. Didn’t find nothin’. If there was any more, it’s all pig shit by now.”

We kept smoking as we slopped across his twelve acres to the sprawling white farmhouse with green shutters where I’d left my car. Once this was woodland and meadow, typical of the countryside in the little town of Pascoag in Rhode Island’s sleepy northwest corner. But Cosmo had bulldozed his whole place into an ugly mess of stumps, mud, and stones.

“How do you suppose the arm got here?” I asked.

“The staties kept asking the same question, like I’m supposed to fuckin’ know.”

He scowled as I scrawled the quote in my reporter’s notebook.

“Look, Mulligan,” he said. “My company? Scalici Recycling? It’s a three-mil-a-year operation. My twelve trucks collect garbage from schools, jails, and restaurants all over Rhode Island. That arm coulda been tossed in a Dumpster anywhere between Woonsocket and Westerly.”

I knew it was true. Scalici Recycling was a fancy name for a company that picked up garbage so pigs could reprocess it into bacon, but there was big money in it. I’d written about the operation five years ago when the Mafia tried to muscle in. Cosmo drilled one hired thug through the temple with a bolt gun used to slaughter livestock and put another in a coma with his ham-size fists. He called it trash removal. The cops called it self-defense.

I’d parked my heap beside his new Ford pickup. Mine had a New England Patriots decal on the rear window. His had a bumper sticker that said: “If You Don’t Like Manure, Move to the City.”

“Getting along any better with the folks around here?” I asked as I jerked open my car door.

“Nah. They’re still whining about the smell. Still complaining about the noise from the garbage trucks. That guy over there?” he said, pointing at a raised ranch across the road. “He’s a real asshole. That one down there? Total jerk. This whole area’s zoned agricultural. They build their houses out here and want to pretend they’re in fuckin’ Newport? Fuck them and the minivans they rode in on.”

 

Copyright © 2012 by Bruce DeSilva

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 28 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(18)

4 Star

(4)

3 Star

(1)

2 Star

(3)

1 Star

(2)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 28 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 18, 2012

    At a recent book-signing event, Bruce DeSilva told his audience

    At a recent book-signing event, Bruce DeSilva told his audience that he believed a good contemporary mystery novel needs to reflect the social issues of the story's locale. I don't think anyone in the room disagreed with him. Alas, when I started reading "Cliff Walk," I was confronted by some of the same old liberal bogeymen: ex-military thugs, right-wing zealots, and the Catholic Church. Somehow, I don't think any of these are what ails Rhode Island. The state is going broke, town by town and city by city, thanks to decades of failed public policy. The elephant in the living room that seems to evade Mr. DeSilva's field of vision is the entrenched, corrupt, all-powerful one-party legislature that runs things in the Ocean State. An accurate portrait of Rhode Island's social ills needs to depict their political roots.

    As a mystery, "Cliff Walk" isn't up to Mr. DeSilva's first novel, "Rogue Island," thanks to a thin plot and countless references to pop-music that I guess are intended to show that the author is hip and cool. A disappointing second effort.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 20, 2015

    Huh?

    A really garbled plot. Lots of concludions with nothing to back them up. It is as if the author said;"Holy crap I have already writtem 600 meandering pages. I really have to end this right now." So he does.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 30, 2012

    If you're looking for a true slice of Rhode Island and a gritty

    If you're looking for a true slice of Rhode Island and a gritty suspense-filled rollercoaster ride with quirky characters that leap right off the page and dialogue equal to that of the master, Elmore Leonard -- then CLIFF WALK should go to the top of your must-read list.
    -- Jan Evean Whitford, author of MYSTIC ISLAND and MYSTIC FEAR

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 11, 2015

    DeSilva delivers again.

    Bruce DeSilva delivers once again in his second novel titled Cliff Walk. Liam Mulligan and the cast pf zany characters are joined in murder and pornography investigations. Mulligan is still bedeviled by his soon to be exwife, Dorcas. Another fast paced enjoyable read with lots of subtle and at times notso subtle humor. Give yourself permission to enjoy a few hours of an engaging story.

    J M Lydon

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 3, 2013

    Anastacia

    That is not how i spell my name.

    0 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 21, 2013

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 19, 2013

    Ally

    "Walks up to Pierce" Pierce im sorry...... For all what i said and done to you......You can do anything to me.... "a tear went down my face"

    0 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 7, 2013

    Anatasia

    Not trying to be u.....

    0 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 29, 2012

    To cliffrock

    Im Leafstar looking for med cat for my clan Leafclan to join go to hollyleafs story and state name and address title saying "Leafclan,ho!" *mew* Leafstar

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 27, 2012

    D

    "Let's just find this Dark Gaia and get this over with. I would suggest looking at dark gaia result one. (If it even exists.)" Mousetalon growled.

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 27, 2012

    Vixen

    They probably went back to him she growled. Stupid cronies she added

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 22, 2012

    Nathan

    Oh.

    0 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 22, 2012

    Rachel

    "Nathan!!!"

    0 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 18, 2012

    Little girl

    Just watches

    0 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 18, 2012

    White Cat

    Shrugs sadly and pads back to sl

    0 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 8, 2012

    Silentecho

    Burns her arms but keeps going. Three minutes okay three. Just hol on for me.

    0 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 15, 2013

    Duma

    Delte post

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 25, 2012

    Broken

    Hello Cliffrock.

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 14, 2012

    Cliffrock

    Im a medcat and need a clan

    0 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 27, 2012

    Terrific!

    One of the best books this summer. Highly recomended!

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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