19 January 2016

Today's Read: Where It Hurts by Reed Farrel Coleman

Where It Hurts by Reed Farrel ColemanDoes a parent ever get over the loss of a child? Ex-cop Gus Murphy is still struggling, two years after his son's sudden death. When approached by another grieving father to help solve a murder, will Murphy be able to rise from his despair?

Some people swallow their grief. Some let it swallow them. I guess there're about a thousand degrees in between those extremes. Maybe a million. Maybe a million million. Who the fuck knows? Not me. I don't. I'm just about able to put one foot before the other, to breathe again. But not always, not even most of the time. Annie, my wife, I mean, my ex-wife, she let it swallow her whole, and when it spit her back up, she was someone else, something else: a hornet from a butterfly. If I was on the outside looking in and not the central target of her fury and sting, I might understand it. I might forgive it. I tell myself I would. But I'd have to forgive myself first. I might as well wish for Jesus to reveal himself in my sideview mirror or for John Jr. to come back to us. At the moment my wishes were less ambitious ones. I wished for the 11:38 to Ronkonkoma to be on time. I should have wished for it be early.
Where It Hurts by Reed Farrel Coleman (Putnam, 2016, p. 1; uncorrected egalley)

Quick Facts
  • Setting: modern times, Long Island
  • Circumstances: Grieving ex-cop Gus Murphy is asked by grieving petty criminal Tommy Delcamino to find the people who murdered his son, TJ. Although initially reluctant, Gus decides to look into it. He is pulled into the underworld of drugs, wannabe mobsters, and more murder, all the while still trying to understand the death of his own son and the dissolution of his family and faith.
  • Genre: mystery, thriller, suspense
  • Themes: grief, fatherhood, depression, faith/religion, socioeconomic commentary, family
  • Characters: Gus Murphy, an ex-cop who know works for a mid-level hotel; Annie, his ex-wife; Kristen, his out-of-control daughter; Tommy Delcamino, ex-con who lost his son; TJ, Tommy's son, the first murder victim; Father Bill Kikenny, police chaplain; various cops from the Suffolk County police force; various drug lords, mobsters, and other bad guys
  • What I think so far: I love the noir feel to the story. Although the themes of depression and the death of a son could weigh the book down, they instead make Gus an interesting person: Will he start to see more light or will he fall deeper into the depths? In addition, there are enough small moments of humor (the kind that makes you chuckle or smile) to offset the heaviness. All the characters I've met seem real and easy to envision. The plot is just being set up, but I'm anticipating a great read.
  • A few of extras: This book is the start of a new series, so there's no backstory to catch up on. Where It Hurts has already earned a couple of starred reviews. Coleman was picked by the Robert B. Parker estate to continue the Jesse Stone books.  
  • Recommendations: For lovers of dark suspense and contemporary mysteries.


Book Blather 1/19/16, 6:14 AM  

I love the way you've set out your review! The synopsis was rather lacking in details, so it was nice to hear more about the 'meat and bones' of the book from you!

rhapsodyinbooks 1/19/16, 7:22 AM  

My husband read this and really liked it. He's a big noir fan though. He said it got very edge-of-your-seat as he read farther along.

Sarah (Sarah's Book Shelves) 1/19/16, 7:56 AM  

I didn't love the writing style of the intro, so I'd probably skip this one.

(Diane) Bibliophile By the Sea 1/19/16, 8:39 AM  

That writing didn't grab me unfortunately.

Reading With Jade 1/19/16, 9:07 AM  

The intro didn't captivate me, but I like the premise of the book and for that reason I'd continue reading.

bermudaonion 1/19/16, 9:09 AM  

Nope, I don't think a parent ever gets over the loss of a child. This book sounds gripping!

Catherine BookClubLibrarian 1/19/16, 9:25 AM  

I like the sound of this one. The narrator drew me right in.

Ashling Callaghan 1/19/16, 9:30 AM  

Great Teaser don’t forget to stop by my blogs to check out My TT but check on both blogs I own for different teasers Echoing Books (Blog I co-own) and First Dream of Books (My Personal blog)

Kay 1/19/16, 9:58 AM  

I've been aware of this author for a while. Nice that this is the beginning of a new series - my favorite place. I liked the descriptiveness of the teaser. Definitely made you feel for him and his wife actually. Also good to know that there was a little humor. I'll put this one on my list to watch.

Sherry Fundin 1/19/16, 10:00 AM  

I have read a lot of Parker's books and watched several Stone movies. Glad they are continuing the series and it sounds they made the right call.
sherry @ fundinmental My TT

(Diane) bookchickdi 1/19/16, 10:08 AM  

That is a powerful excerpt, I'm definitely putting this one on my TBR list.

Susan Roberts 1/19/16, 10:18 AM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Susan Roberts 1/19/16, 10:21 AM  

After reading this excerpt, I have added this book to my tbr list. It sounds like it would be an exceptional read. thank you

grammajudyb 1/19/16, 11:07 AM  

I'm in too! I like the writing style. I'll even forget the "F-bomb", cause it fits. Ex-cop, grieving father, divorced dad, who can blame him. On my list of Want to Reads.

Laurel-Rain Snow 1/19/16, 11:11 AM  

I love stories with characters who have issues, so you hooked me already. And then a good mystery/thriller is my cup of tea.

Thanks for sharing...and for visiting my blog.

Literary Feline 1/19/16, 11:33 AM  

I can't even imagine. I think I would be consumed by they grief if something happened to my daughter. This sounds like a compelling read. I've been wanting to read something by Coleman.

Margot 1/19/16, 12:19 PM  

I've heard this is an excellent noir-style mystery. I like the way it starts and I definitely want to read this one.

Nise' 1/19/16, 12:36 PM  

Nope, never get over the loss of a child, and I usually avoid books with this plot.

Cathy Murray 1/19/16, 12:38 PM  

You've made this seem like a really good read. One for the TBR list maybe. My TT is from a classic historical crime novel http://indie-bookworm.blogspot.co.uk/2016/01/teaser-tuesday-6.html

Kathy Martin 1/19/16, 12:54 PM  

Sounds like an interesting thriller. I hope you are enjoying it. The teaser on my adult blog comes from Night Study by Maria V. Snyder. Happy reading!

Ms. M. 1/19/16, 3:05 PM  

Heavy theme. I just finished reading a book about a columnist whose wife and son had died in a single car crash a year earlier and then thing that finally brings him out of his guilt and lethargy is when another car crashes into his fence with a friend at the wheel dying from a bullet in the gut. I'm not up for another just yet but I'll put it on my list a bit further down. Here's my TT from a book by historical fiction writer Margaret George: http://wp.me/p4DMf0-18l

Tribute Books Mama 1/19/16, 3:20 PM  

sounds like an interesting read.

Tea Norman 1/19/16, 4:15 PM  

It made me feel emotional. I would keep reading.

Diana @ Book of Secrets 1/19/16, 8:16 PM  

Intense intro -- I'd keep reading. I like the author's writing style.

Daryl 1/20/16, 9:59 AM  

another one to add to the ever growing list .... thanks!!!!

Verushka Byrow 1/21/16, 2:28 AM  

Where it hurts is a most apt title. This sounds like such a good read, and the noir feel you mentioned has me interested!

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