cover image The Poor Boy’s Game

The Poor Boy’s Game

Dennis Tafoya. Minotaur, $25.99 (352p) ISBN 978-1-250-01953-0

Tafoya (The Wolves of Fairmount Park) delivers a gut-wrenching crime thriller as gritty and harsh as a Philadelphia winter. Soon after U.S. Marshal Frannie Mullen resigns from the force because one of her men is killed during what should have been a routine takedown in downtown Philly, she learns that her father, Patrick Mullen, a brutal enforcer for corrupt union boss Adolph Wurtz, has escaped from a Louisiana federal prison and may be coming to hurt her and her sister, Mae. As young girls, both were traumatized after seeing their father beat their mother to death and burn their house down. Now the vengeful Patrick is on the loose, hunted by the FBI, the marshals, and remnants of the union gang. Frannie and fragile Mae are in the middle—suspects in the eyes of some FBI agents, bait in the eyes of Wurtz’s men. The equation seems simple, but Tafoya does a superb job keeping the reader guessing to the surprise end. Agent: Alex Glass, Trident Media Group. (Apr.)