FACES ALONG THE BAR

Robert Cranny, Author . Welcome Rain $25 (288p) ISBN 978-1-56649-232-4

Set in Brooklyn in 1957 just before the Dodgers left town for L.A., this highly suspenseful story chronicles the changing face of America as minorities move into an Irish neighborhood and some of the old taboos about intermarriage begin to erode. When police detective Red Dahlgren announces his engagement to an Italian girl, Margo, a first for the neighborhood, the union goes largely unopposed by his family and friends. However, unknown to anyone, Red's brilliant and beautiful sister, Annie, who is just about to graduate high school with a college scholarship, is secretly dating a young black man, Toby Walters, who is headed for Columbia. After a party celebrating Red's engagement and Annie's graduation, Annie is found murdered. As Annie and Toby's relationship becomes common knowledge, it is assumed even by the police that Toby is the killer. There are two viable suspects, a drunken army buddy of Red's, who was in the middle of an alcoholic blackout at the time of the murder, and a smarmy neighbor who claims he saw Toby emerging from the alley where Annie was killed. The suspense builds and Toby is hunted down, wounded when he tries to run and charged with murder. He escapes, and there is a final showdown on the Brooklyn Bridge. The title refers to Kerrigan's, a gathering place somewhat like the bar in The Iceman Cometh, where a group of working-class regulars dissect each bit of gossip and offer their often misinformed opinions on what is taking place. Cranny (The Storm) provides a striking portrait of 1957 Brooklyn in all its glory and squalor. (July)

Forecast:Booksellers might well recommend this novel to Frank McCourt fans—Cranny, who was born in Ireland and moved to the U.S. in 1954, at the age of 18, comes from a similar background and evokes a similar world.

Reviewed on: 06/10/2002
Release date: 05/01/2002
Genre: Fiction
Paperback - 320 pages - 978-1-56649-279-9
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