cover image Where It Hurts: A Gus Murphy Novel

Where It Hurts: A Gus Murphy Novel

Reed Farrel Coleman. Putnam, $26.95 (368p) ISBN 978-0-399-17303-5

Edgar-finalist Coleman (Soul Patch) offers a searing look at the dark underside of Long Island in this stellar series kickoff. Ex-cop Gus Murphy, whose 20-year-old son, John Jr., dropped dead playing basketball, works as a night shift van driver and house detective for a hotel whose lobby was “a pretty grand sight if you didn’t look too closely, and if your taste ran to despair.” His reputation as an honest cop leads thug Tommy Delcamino to ask Gus to help him find the person responsible for the brutal torture and murder of Tommy’s son, TJ, after the Suffolk County PD fail to give the case much attention. Gus refuses, out of anger that Tommy is trying to take advantage of Gus’s loss of John Jr., but he changes his mind after another murder. Coleman’s moving portrayal of a man in deep, deep pain, a tightly constructed plot, and a gift for making Long Island seem like James Ellroy’s L.A. add up to a winner. [em]Agent: David Hale Smith, Inkwell Management. (Jan.) [/em]