cover image Shoot the Moonlight Out

Shoot the Moonlight Out

William Boyle. Pegasus Crime, $25.95 (320p) ISBN 978-1-64313-825-1

It’s the summer of 1996 in the prologue of this masterly literary noir from Boyle (City of Margins), and 14-year-old Bobby Santovasco and a pal are throwing rocks at cars exiting from the Belt Parkway in Brooklyn. What they think of as a harmless prank results in the death of a 19-year-old driver. Meanwhile, recent widower Jack Cornacchia, a Con Ed customer field representative in Brooklyn, seeks solace from his grief by doing freelance vigilante work for neighborhood folks who need wrongs righted. Flash forward to the summer of 2001. Creative writing teacher Lily Murphy, who’s become friends with Jack, confides in him that she’s being stalked by an ex-boyfriend. Jack agrees to quietly handle the situation. Meanwhile, Bobby, now 19, has fallen for Francesca Clarke, an aspiring filmmaker who dreams of escaping the neighborhood. Bobby devises an ill-conceived plan to rob his employer, a crooked local businessman, and then hit the road with his new love. What could go wrong? Plenty, as shown in the tragic ways the lives and fates of these fully realized characters intertwine. This mature, nuanced work is a must for George Pelecanos fans. Agent: Nat Sobel, Sobel & Weber. (Nov.)