cover image The Stolen Coast

The Stolen Coast

Dwyer Murphy. Viking, $27 (288p) ISBN 978-0-5936-5367-8

This atmospheric heist thriller from CrimeReads editor Murphy (An Honest Living) proves that genre readers really can have it all: terrific characterization, an intricate plot, and stylish writing to boot. Jack Betancourt lives in the rundown Massachusetts beach town of Onset. He leads a quiet life, working at a business built by his ex-spy father that helps people in trouble disappear: thieves, mobsters, spies, and fugitives of all sorts. Jack’s old girlfriend Elena, a lawyer with a very shady past, arrives back in Onset after a seven-year absence. She has a plan to steal diamonds valued between three and 180 million dollars (depending on the buyer) from a law firm colleague’s safe and needs Jack’s help to do it. Their scheme has a lot of moving parts, and bad luck threatens to shut them down, but Elena’s a ruthless leader, and Jack is driven by a cocktail of motivations even he can’t quite untangle. Murphy’s spare, polished prose carries a touch of Elmore Leonard and a whisper of Ernest Hemingway, but in balancing those influences he locates a style all his own. Strong characters, sharp wit, breathless action, and real emotional depth make this exceptional neo-noir sing. Agent: Duvall Osteen, Aragi, Inc. (Aug.)