Former Suffolk County cop Gus Murphy returns to prowl the meaner streets of Long Island’s darkest precincts with a Russian mercenary at his back in the stunning second installment of Reed Farrel Coleman’s critically acclaimed series.
Gus Murphy and his girlfriend, Magdalena, are put in harm’s way when Gus is caught up in the distant aftershocks of heinous crimes committed decades ago in Vietnam and Russia. Gus’s ex-priest pal, Bill Kilkenny, introduces him to a wealthy businessman anxious to have someone look more deeply into the brutal murder of his granddaughter. Though the police already have the girl’s murderer in custody, they have been unable to provide a reason for the killing. The businessman, Spears, offers big incentives if Gus can supply him with what the cops cannot—a motive.
Later that same day, Gus witnesses the execution of a man who has just met with his friend Slava. As Gus looks into the girl’s murder and tries to protect Slava from the executioner’s bullet, he must navigate a minefield populated by hostile cops, street gangs, and a Russian mercenary who will stop at nothing to do his master’s bidding. But in trying to solve the girl’s murder and save his friend, Gus may be opening a door into a past that was best left forgotten. Can he fix the damage done, or is it true that what you break you own . . . forever?
My review of What You Break
Reed Farrel Coleman is back with a slam-dunk read that straddles the line between a solid mystery and a police procedural. The main character, Gus Murphy, is a man flawed and fighting his way back from an unbearable loss and desperate to “do the right thing.”
Bravo to Coleman for handling violent scenes without becoming overly graphic. Exceptional descriptions of setting, including areas on the wrong side of the tracks, create a vivid canvas on which Coleman paints a multi-layered, compelling story with a cliff-hanger ending sure to leave readers anxious for the sequel.