cover image The Lonely Witness

The Lonely Witness

William Boyle. Pegasus Crime, $25.95 (240p) ISBN 978-1-68177-795-5

Years ago, Amy Falconetti, the heroine of Boyle’s poignant second novel set in Brooklyn (after Gravesend), worked as a hard-partying bartender and dated an aspiring actress named Alessandra. Now in her mid-30s and alone, Amy is volunteering as a Eucharistic minister, bringing communion to elderly shut-ins who live in her neighborhood. Her boring life is suddenly turned upside down when she witnesses a murder. Complicating matters is the sudden return of Alessandra and her alcoholic father, who left her when she was a child. Amy, who believes the killer saw her and is now stalking her, must also deal with her still strong feelings toward Alessandra and her contempt for Alessandra’s father, who desperately wants to make amends for his past bad behavior. In the chaos, Amy sees high-risk avenues to escape her dead-end life—but is an unknown future better than living a safe shadow existence? Powered by brilliantly realized characters, a richly described and grittily realistic backdrop, and subtle yet powerful imagery, this is crime fiction at its best: immersive, intense, and darkly illuminating. Agent: Nat Sobel, Sobel Weber Assoc. (May)