cover image Gravesend


William Boyle. Pegasus Crime, $25.95 (272p) ISBN 978-1-68177-849-5

At the start of Boyle’s moving debut, the news of Ray Boy Calabrese’s release from prison, where he has served time for the murder of Duncan D’Innocenzio 16 years earlier, ripples through the mostly Italian-American neighborhood of Gravesend, Brooklyn. Duncan’s struggling 29-year-old brother, Conway, who’s still living at home in Gravesend with his aging father, plots his revenge. When Conway eventually confronts his brother’s killer, he discovers that prison has changed Ray Boy, and that the confident neighborhood alpha male who was the focal point of his hatred has been shattered by guilt. Meanwhile, Eugene Calabrese, Ray Boy’s teenage nephew who idolizes his uncle, devises a reckless plan to prove himself. Also in trouble is failed actress Alessandra Biagini, who has come home from L.A. after her mother’s death and also has an aging father to look after. These characters are swept into a downward spiral of desperation as they grapple with the weight of the past and the pull that the neighborhood has on them. Fans of classic noir will find a lot to like. Agent: Nat Sobel, Sobel Weber Assoc. (Sept.)