The Charlestown Connection

The Charlestown Connection

by Tom MacDonald
4.7 12


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The Charlestown Connection by Tom MacDonald

Dermot Sparhawk, a former All American Boston College football hero, is stacking cans in a parish food pantry in Boston's Charlestown, when his godfather, Jeepster Hennessey, shows up with a knife in his back and dies at Dermot's feet. Once slated for a professional football career, now a recovering alcoholic, with a torn-up knee, Dermot sets out to solve the murder of his godfather with the help of his Micmac Indian cousin, his paraplegic tenant, and a former teammate. Dermot's investigation has him tangling with members of the IRA, FBI, and the Boston mob. He also is forced to contend with Charlestown's code of silence and the norms of the neighborhood where he grew up. Feeling like he did at the height of his game, Dermot uses his Native American intuition and Irish good looks to help him uncover clues. Dermot stumbles upon bits and pieces of information that he cobbles together into an unlikely theory which leads him on an unexpected trail and to a new mystery that could cost him his life.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781608090242
Publisher: Oceanview Publishing
Publication date: 08/01/2011
Series: Dermot Sparhawk Series , #1
Pages: 272
Product dimensions: 6.40(w) x 9.20(h) x 1.10(d)

About the Author

Best-selling author Tom MacDonald has Boston in his blood. Born, raised, and living in the Boston area, Tom knows of what he writes. As Director of Social Ministries at St. Mary's-St. Catherine of Siena Parish in Charlestown, he brings his fictional work to the page of The Charlestown Connection. Tom has a B.A. in sociology from Stonehill College, a MBA

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The Charlestown Connection 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 12 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great read. I needed to find out what was going to happen to the each person in the story. McDoald shows great flair with character development.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Kept my interest
nle1 More than 1 year ago
Dermot Sparhawk, recovering alcoholic, football player with a blown knee, son of an alcoholic and wannabe detective is in a tight spot. His godfather, stabbed in the back; died in front of him. Dermot and his crew of boarders (Buck in a wheelchair and Harraqskeet Kid the mechanic) set out to find out why. They may be in over their heads as Dermot is visited by several individuals all wanting to know what Jeepster Hennessey's last words were. Did he give Dermot anything? Inquiring minds with guns want to know. Yes, he did as a matter of fact - but it's no one's business but Dermot's at the moment. Seeking answers takes him to Boston's richest, poorest, finest, the IRA, the Mob and to the MicMac's up north. It leads him to get a Malamute for Buck because whoever needs to know what Dermot knows doesn't play fair. It leads him to Church, the Gardner Museum and places no one would want to travel. Tom MacDonald has a true gem in the Charlestown Connection. If you like Boston, or just a great mystery, this is the book for you! The characters are most believable, the footprint of Boston most accurate and you are in for a most enjoyable tale which has an ending you won't suspect at all. I hope we can hear more from Dermot and friends, they're great!
Dirty_Lowdown More than 1 year ago
Equal parts whodunit, murder mystery and caper novel, with a dash of conspiracy thriller elements, a la The Da Vinci Code. But that's where any equality ends. The Charlestown Connection goes beyond all of those to reach new heights in crime fiction. And this is a debut novel? Tom MacDonald, where have you been hiding? Imagine debuting in the major leagues by pitching to Ted Williams, Carl Yastrzemski and Jimmie Foxx, sticking with the Boston theme. Now, imagine you struck out the side on nine pitches. That's what Tom MacDonald has done by choosing to walk the hallowed grounds of Boston's Charlestown neighborhood, the turf of such super stars as Robert B. Parker, Dennis Lehane and Chuck Hogan, you fellas can move over and make room at the top, because Tom MacDonald deserves a seat. I'm not sure I have ever read a better debut novel. Mr. MacDonald set the bar high, then cleared it in Superman fashion. This book just jumped the turn stiles to move to the front of the line for best crime fiction of the year. Both hardboiled and noir, without using the usual clichés. It achieves a hardboiled "feel" through setting, an edginess, a sense of realness and the development of the characters. It gets it's "noir-ness" not through the usual morally bankrupt cast of characters (indeed, even the bad guys have a certain shady attractiveness) nor through the commission of evermore despicable and lewd crimes until the protagonist is so irredeemable that the devil considers retirement. No, it gets that feeling of noir through a certain sense of stoicism by the main players, a sense of darkness in the setting inside one of America's largest public housing neighborhoods and in Charlestown's colorful, troubled, and criminal past as well as the mix of cultures. Where most hardboiled fiction is dialog driven , "Charlestown" has full grown characters and is more developed through the internal dialog, and observations of the protagonist, than on snappy one liners and tougher than tough tough guys. Although some of the life situations of the main characters will be familiar i.e. a recovering alcoholic hero, a paraplegic side kick, they are either not over done or are used in such an original and fresh way as to avoid any thoughts of cliché. And where noir tends to have a reliance on dark, brooding themes, a certain decay in the souls of the characters and a reliance on sex and sexual themes, or at the very least degenerate crimes and sins to drive the plot, this novel achieves that familiar sense of darkness without resorting to sensationalism, melodrama or gothic language. From the opening paragraph, one of the best I have read in awhile, MacDonald establishes his debt to the greats of both those genre, while resolutely pointing the way towards the future and where, with a bit of artistry and a masters creativity, the genres can go. The plot twists and red herring abound, but even the most experienced and adept at figuring out the puzzle, will be surprised, yet all the clues are there. Employing all of the best elements from multiple branches of the crime fiction/thriller family tree against a historical backdrop of Charlestown and one of the most daring true crimes ever perpetrated, in addition to craftsmanship not usually found in a first time author, MacDonald has carved out a spot for himself at the very top. He is not an up and coming author, he arrived in style.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Just finished "The Charlestown Connection" What a great read! A good old fashioned crime novel in current times. Real Boston characters. Highly recommend.
Mischg More than 1 year ago
What an amazing story! MacDonald expertly weaves together a real-life crime story with a fictional twist that makes for a compelling read. If you like Boston criminal lore- you will love this book.
kellyg12 More than 1 year ago
I grew up in Charlestown and the book cover grabbed my attention. I love the photo of the Tobin bridge. The author, Tom MacDonald, really knows Boston. I felt like I was back at home. The story is funny, clever and full of suspense. I highly recommend this book.
Billysbooks More than 1 year ago
Tom MacDonald's writing reminds me Raymond Chandler's. This is a REAL crime novel. Intelligent writing, memorable characters and an interesting story plot. FInally a good crime novel! I Highly recommend this story and would love to see it as a major motion picture.
MarkK88 More than 1 year ago
"The Charlestown Connection" is a fantastic story. The plot is filed with thrilling suspense and sudden twists with an unexpected ending. The author is a great story teller and makes you feel like you are right there in the scene. A solid debut by Tom MacDonald
jamessmith More than 1 year ago
"The Charlestown Connection" is a thrilling crime novel. The story is smart and entertaining and I couldn't put the book down. The story has many moving parts which kept my interest. The characters in the book feel like old friends and I hope that I get to see them again in MacDonald's second book. Overall, "The Charlestown Connection" is an enjoyable read.
harstan More than 1 year ago
Former Boston College All American football star, recovering alcoholic with a torn knee Dermot Sparhawk runs the Saint Jude Thaddeus parish food pantry in Charlestown when his godfather Jeepster Hennessey falls dead at his feet with a knife protruding from his back. Before dying, Jeepster mumbles a word "Oswego" and hands the stunned Dermot a key. Still in shock, Dermot is further stupefied when Feds, BPD cops, Boston mobsters and IRA operatives visit him with demands that he knows nothing of. His Uncle Glooscap the Micmac warns him of danger. Thus knowing he needs a good offensive line, Dermot obtains the help of Glooscap's son Harraseeket Kid, his paraplegic tenant and former BC mate Buck Louis, as they investigate what is going on, which leads them to high society art forgeries and heists with enemies on both sides of the law wanting to permanently sack team Sparhawk. The Charlestown Connection is an exciting action-packed Bostonian thriller that never slows down from the moment Jeepster enters the pantry until the final play is run. The cast is solid especially the quarterback and his teammates as they escort readers on a fascinating tour of Boston rarely seen in novels. Although the motive for mayhem is over the top of the Green Monster, this is a super winning tale. Harriet Klausner
BookAddictFL More than 1 year ago
The Charlestown Connection has an intricate, well-developed plot with multiple layers to keep a reader involved. Being from the Boston area, I enjoyed the city references. Tom MacDonald does a great job of capturing the feel of certain Boston areas and cultures. While the plot entertains, for me, this one lacks character development. The story has a lot of characters, most introduced quickly with little explanation. The relationships felt superficial, since I knew next to nothing about most of them. Even Dermot, the main character, felt more like a pawn being used to play out a role than a 'person' living through a chaotic and difficult period in his life. I didn't feel the connection to the characters necessary for me to truly get lost in a story. ** I received this ebook as an early review copy from Oceanview Publishing, through NetGalley. **