Synopses & Reviews
Joe Serpe doesn?t have much. A dead brother, an old cat, and the unshakeable stink of heating oil and shame. He's not interested in redemption. He can?t undo his past. But when a young mentally challenged boy is murdered on the oil lot, Joe needs to find answers.
"A well-developed protagonist lifts this police thriller, the first of a new series from Spinosa, the pseudonym of Edgar-finalist Reed Farrel Coleman (The James Deans). Joe Serpe, an ex-NYPD detective, lives a barren life driving a heating-oil truck and mourning his fireman brother, a victim of 9/11. When a developmentally disabled young man who had been working for Serpe's employer turns up dead, the ex-cop's guilt leads him to begin a private investigation, aided, ironically, by the retired Internal Affairs officer, Bob Healy, responsible for Serpe's departure from the force. As the body count mounts, the two sleuths find a wide range of possible suspects, from right-wing anti-immigration activists to the Russian mob. While much of the setup borders on clich (e.g., the attractive psychologist who falls for the tough-but-sensitive wounded hero), Spinosa injects enough depth into his characters to suspend disbelief." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)