We Were Kings

Thomas O’Malley and Douglas Graham Purdy. LB/Mulholland, $26 (384p) ISBN 978-0-316-32353-6
It’s June 1954, and an oppressive heat entombs Boston in O’Malley and Purdy’s well-written if bleak sequel to 2015’s Serpents in the Cold. Their broken antiheroes, Dante Cooper and Cal O’Brien, have each recently suffered a personal loss, and those losses are keenly felt throughout the novel. Heroin addict Dante has a fingertip hold on sobriety, while ex-cop Cal struggles to keep his security business afloat. Both answer the call, though, when Det. Owen Mackey, Cal’s policeman cousin, asks for their help in his pursuit of IRA sympathizers who are running guns and murdering suspected informers. The Irish club scene of the time has a role in the story, as does Dante’s skill at the piano, but the unforgiving temperatures, easy violence, and grim state of the South Boston neighborhoods overwhelm any joy that the bright lights and dance floors might impart. More than one bloody killing will catch readers by surprise. Agent: Richard Abate, 3 Arts Entertainment. (June)
Reviewed on: 04/04/2016
Release date: 06/21/2016
Genre: Fiction
Open Ebook - 416 pages - 978-0-316-32351-2
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