Tragedy colors Terry Orr's every move, nearly his every thought. Five years ago his infant son's stroller rolled off a subway platform, his wife dove after it, and both died under a train. Since then, Terry has focused on pursuing the madman who pushed the stroller, a crusade that led him to get a private investigator's license (as fans know from his first two books, Closing Time
and A Well-Known Secret
). In Tribeca Blues
, the death of a close friend, bar owner Leo Mallard, leads Terry into a case with roots stretching back to Leo's twisted family in New Orleans. But, as always, Terry's quest for justice and closure in his own life takes center stage, and this time his obsessive digging turns up profound surprises, altering his picture of what happened that fateful day.
Jim Fusilli's fine writing paints a vivid, noir-tinged portrait of New York's streets and people, and only the most cold-hearted reader could fail to care about Terry, his daughter Bella, and many other vividly drawn, often damaged characters. Fusilli's sense of place and pacing falter a bit in New Orleans--including a section near the end, which sags noticeably--but most of the story is set in the Big Apple, and is pitch-perfect. This is one of the most powerful, enjoyable crime tales of the season. --Nicholas H. Allison
From Publishers Weekly
Still plagued by the tragic loss of his wife and son five years earlier, sometime PI Terry Orr finally gets a chance to find the man he thinks killed them in Fusilli's third installment of his Tribeca series (Closing Time; A Well-Known Secret). Distanced from his surviving daughter (the intellectually precocious teenaged Bella, who's just completed her first book), Terry has been seeing a shrink to little effect, although his blossoming relationship with prosecutor Julie Giada seems to be helping a bit. Two incidents kick the plot into gear: first, the death of Leo Mallard, Terry's longtime friend and owner of a struggling TriBeCa watering hole called the Tilt, and second, Terry's discovery of a fresh clue in his search for the Madman, Raymond Weisz, the lunatic genius Terry blames for taking his wife and son. But as Terry probes the darkness, searching for Weisz by interviewing eyewitnesses to the tragedy (and while he tries to execute Leo's will, against a rising tide of resentment from Leo's widow and sister), he learns some harsh truths about the circumstances of his wife's fate and the Madman's role in it. Right about the time Leo's drunken widow decides to claim her inheritance at point-blank range, Terry threatens to unravel. Terry is an appealing character, a single parent still suffering from incalculable loss, trying to raise his daughter in a neighborhood also struggling to pull itself together. Putnam is obviously grooming Fusilli to take his place in its stable of mystery bestsellers, and the follow-up to this sometimes rough but necessary narrative link in the series may well do it.
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