Sometimes at Night

Ben Sanders. Severn, $28.99 (256p) ISBN 978-0-7278-5053-9
At the start of Sanders’s underwhelming third mystery featuring New York PI Marshall Grade (after 2017’s Marshall’s Law), Marshall meets Ray Vialoux, a former NYPD narcotics detective, in an Italian restaurant in Brooklyn, where Vialoux confides he’s amassed a sizable gambling debt that’s being called in by capo Frank Cifaretti. The deadline for payment in full is in five days. Vialoux hopes Marshall, who once worked undercover to infiltrate the Mafia, can help, but their conversation’s interrupted when someone fatally shoots Vialoux through the restaurant window. The investigating officers view Marshall with suspicion, especially after he discloses a past romantic relationship with Vialoux‘s widow. The gumshoe digs into possible alternate suspects for the killing, as Cifaretti had no reason to murder Vialoux before the deadline passed. Predictable violence follows before a yawn-worthy reveal. Cumbersome prose (“his MetroCard was two days from expiry, and for reasons inchoate but nonetheless compelling, he felt the need to maximize its usage during the final forty-eight hours of validity”) is another minus. There are plenty of better gritty and grim PI mysteries set in contemporary New York. Agent: David Hale Smith, InkWell Management. (Oct.)
Reviewed on : 08/13/2021
Release date: 10/01/2021
Genre: Mystery/Thriller
Paperback - 240 pages - 978-1-78029-818-4
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