Cliff Walk by Bruce DeSilva

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With “Cliff Walk,” DeSilva lands another winner.
-The Washington Post


Prostitution has been legal in Rhode Island for more than a decade; Liam Mulligan, an old-school investigative reporter at dying Providence newspaper, suspects the governor has been taking payoffs to keep it that way. But this isn’t the only story making headlines…a child’s severed arm is discovered in a pile of garbage at a pig farm. Then the body of an internet pornographer is found sprawled on the rocks at the base of Newport’s famous Cliff Walk.

At first, the killings seem random, but as Mulligan keeps digging into the state’s thriving sex business, strange connections emerge. Promised free sex with hookers if he minds his own business—and a beating if he doesn’t—Mulligan enlists Thanks-Dad, the newspaper publisher’s son, and Attila the Nun, the state’s colorful Attorney General, in his quest for the truth. What Mulligan learns will lead him to question his beliefs about sexual morality, shake his tenuous religious faith, and leave him wondering who his real friends are.

Cliff Walk is at once a hard-boiled mystery and an exploration of sex and religion in the age of pornography. Written with the unique and powerful voice that won DeSilva an Edgar Award for Best First Novel, Cliff Walk lifts Mulligan into the pantheon of great suspense heroes and is a giant leap for the career of Bruce DeSilva.


About Bruce DeSilva

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Bruce DeSilva spent forty-one- years as a journalist before writing Rogue Island, his first novel, which won the 2011 Edgar Award for Best First Novel and the 2011 Macavity Award for best debut. Formerly the Associated Press's writing coach, responsible for training AP journalists worldwide, DeSilva is now a master's thesis advisor at the Columbia University School of Journalism. DeSilva and his wife, the poet Patricia Smith, live in Howell, New Jersey, with their granddaughter, Mikaila, and two enormous canines, a Bernese Mountain Dog named Brady and a mutt named Rondo.
Published May 22, 2012 by Forge Books. 320 pages
Genres: Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Literature & Fiction, Crime. Fiction
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Critic reviews for Cliff Walk
All: 6 | Positive: 6 | Negative: 0


May 01 2012

As in Mulligan’s hard-nosed debut, the real star here is Providence, which the author knows intimately.

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Star Tribune

Reviewed by Carole Barrowman on May 27 2012

Bruce DeSilva's first mystery, "Rogue Island," won last year's Edgar Award for best first novel, and if there's a prize for best second, "Cliff Walk" is a winner, too.

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The Washington Post

Reviewed by Gerald Bartell on May 27 2012

With “Cliff Walk,” DeSilva lands another winner.

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The Morning Sun

Reviewed by Jonathan Lopez on May 26 2012

Despite the book’s sexually charged situations and graphic crime-scene descriptions, DeSilva’s masterful narrative style ensures that any shocking details remain firmly in service of the plot...

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Murder by Type

Reviewed by Beth on Jun 14 2012

Bruce DeSilva has written a treatise on the worst of human nature and does it by informing without titillating.

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2 Heads Together

Reviewed by Ed on May 29 2012

The book moves quickly... There’s plenty of action but also plenty of story and sentiment.

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Marjorie Ellsworth

Marjorie Ellsworth 5 Sep 2013

Added the book to want to read list