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Cliff Walk: A Liam Mulligan Novel Hardcover – May 22, 2012

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Cliff Walk: A Liam Mulligan Novel + Rogue Island (Liam Mulligan) + Providence Rag: A Liam Mulligan Novel
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Product Details

  • Series: Liam Mulligan (Book 2)
  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Forge Books; First Edition edition (May 22, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 076533237X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0765332370
  • Product Dimensions: 9.5 x 6.4 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (62 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #269,003 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


Liam Mulligan is the most human, unpredictable, and anti-authoritarian fictional character I've met since Ranger Gus McCrae of Lonesome Dove. I love DeSilva's Cliff Walk. Mulligan is my new American hero. -- Howard Frank Mosher, critically-acclaimed author of On Kingdom Mountain and Waiting for Teddy Williams

A "sterling follow-up to 2010's Rogue Island, which won Edgar and Macavity awards for best first novel. , , , Look for this one to garner more award nominations"- STARRED REVIEW in Publishers Weekly

"Wiseacre Mulligan is never less than compelling company, and the analogies between the newspaper business and the porn business are spot-on." -- Kirkus Reviews

"His plotting is exquisite." . . . "Terrific on every level." -- Booklist

"Sterling follow-up to 2010’s Rogue Island.... brilliantly limned supporting characters."
--Publishers Weekly (Starred Review)
"The epic, warts-and-all portrait of the city is scathing; ulcer-ridden wiseacre Mulligan ... is never less than compelling company; and the analogies between the newspaper business and the porn business are spot-on."
--Kirkus Reviews

From the Inside Flap

"DeSilva knows his crooks, his snobs, and his working joes, knows what they do and how they talk about it. He also knows the newspaper business in all its sunset glory, and he's intimately acquainted with the nets of power, crime, and money woven into the fabric of Rhode Island. This is a series I'll be following." --S.J. Rozan, award-winning author of Ghost Hero.

More About the Author

Bruce DeSilva's crime fiction has won the Edgar and Macavity Awards; has been listed as a finalist for the Shamus, Anthony, and Barry Awards; and has been published in ten foreign languages. His short stories have appeared in Akashic Press's award-winning noir anthologies. He has reviewed books for The New York Times Sunday Book Review and Publishers Weekly, and his reviews for The Associated Press have appeared in hundreds of other publications. Previously, he was a journalist for forty years, most recently as writing coach world-wide for The Associated Press, editing stories that won nearly every major journalism prize including the Pulitzer. He has worked as a consultant for fifty newspapers, taught at the University of Michigan and the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, and lectured at Harvard University's Nieman Foundation. He and his wife, the poet Patricia Smith, live in New Jersey with two enormous dogs named Brady and Rondo. Find him online at

Customer Reviews

DeSilva's writing is impeccable.
This is Mr. Desilva's second Mulligan book and I am really looking forward to the next one.
Steve in Cleveland
Well written funny interesting and held my attention til the end.
eric m. gross

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By GABixler on May 23, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Rogue Island, Bruce DeSilva's first novel, won the Edgar and Macivity Awards, with good reason. Having gotten to know Bruce a little online, when he wrote Cliff Walk, I'm fairly certain he was thinking, "You 'ain't' seen nothing yet..." In his second novel, DeSilva has shown us he's the writer to be watching, a new best-seller whose name will be on the lips of mystery thriller readers everywhere! Sure, I loved It!

DeSilva mentions several authors in this novel, including his wife, Poet Patricia Smith. But even if he hadn't mentioned him, I recognized his kindred spirit with Robert B. Parker. I haven't enjoyed the dialogue and quips DeSilva zings us with since the early books starring Parker's Spenser. If you know what I'm talking about, readers, be prepared to meet a new Spenser-investigative leading man--Liam Mulligan style! Mulligan captures us in this novel, keeping us fully entertained with smiles and laughter...

And we need it, because the topic covered is very important to all those who care about children--child pornography and abuse/murder...

I especially liked that Mulligan, along with other characters, was written to show his emotional response to the grim crime scenes to which he was called. In fact, by the end of this novel, readers will have fallen for Mulligan--and I'm sure many of us will want to comfort him as he laments being alone...LOL...

As a newspaper man, Mulligan tells us much about Rhode Island and this time is no exception...Did you know that prostitution had been legal in Rhode Island until recently? So when an arm of a child was found--you don't want to know where--it was natural for Mulligan and the police to look at those involved with the sex business.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Donald K. Fry on May 26, 2012
Format: Hardcover
One of the reasons to write a novel is to attack all the things that drive you crazy; another is to celebrate the things you love. Bruce DeSilva's second mystery novel, Cliff Walk, does both. He attacks child molesters, pornographers, sex pedlars, corrupt politicians, drug dealers, prostitution, and the stupid owners of newspapers who are destroying journalism. He celebrates Rhode Island, corruption at all levels of government and society, weirdos of every kind, deep-digging newspaper reporters, and his wife, the poet Patricia Smith. With two menus like that, you get an over-the-top story populated by rich characters with wonderful names: Dominic "Whoosh" Zerilli, Raymond L. S. Patriarca, Bobo Marrapese, Pro Lerner, Frank Salemme, Dickie Callei, Red Kelly, Jackie Nazarian, Rudy Sciarra, Blackjack Baldelli, Knuckles Grieco, etc., many of them, I suspect, real. The plot involves the murder at a snazzy party on the Newport Cliff Walk of a prominent sex merchant, and weaves through the bottom feeders and top feeders of Rhode Island, toward a surprise ending. DeSilva's prose crackles with unexpected sentences: "Seagulls had strafed with building again overnight, continuing their war of turds with the current administration," or "the water is sometimes streaked with sewage, and quahogs angry with coliform bacteria pave the mucky bottom." Beginning journalists could learn three primers worth of investigative techniques from the hero's adventures and misadventures. If you like swagger, you'll love this tale.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By darylp on June 13, 2012
Format: Hardcover
I didn't expect to laugh quite so often while reading Bruce DeSilva's second novel, a sequel to his Edgar Award-winning "Rogue Island." After all, "Cliff Walk" is about the sex trade in and around Providence and there are dead children involved in the plot. But DeSilva has a wicked sense of humor, a solid factual foundation, an ear for authentic dialogue and inside knowledge of the newspaper business that lightens the tone and keeps the pages turning.
His hero Liam Mulligan, a reporter for a familiar Providence, RI, daily, is as real as they come.
As a former journalist, I have met many Mulligans during my career. DeSilva captures the axiom that no matter how horrendous the news a reporter is called upon to cover, humor is as essential as a notepad and pencil. It's what keeps us sane.
DeSilva's writing is impeccable. He was, after all, a writing coach. But it's his grounding in the Rhode Island underworld and the faltering fortunes of newspapers that give his voice its power and its poignance.
Read this because it's a good story, because it's sometimes funny, because you like hard-boiled mysteries, or because it's an elegy to a dying industry. But read it.
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10 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Michael Haskins on May 22, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Author Bruce DeSilva has New England politics and crime down like a native! This story grabs you from the beginning and doesn't event want to let go at the end. Things to think about after you're finished reading. A great story!

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.
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