Sons of Liberty, Jun 23 2010, $17.99
In Lowell, Massachusetts someone stole Dr. Katrina Sadolovaki’s car and her lover private detective Ronan Marino and associates conduct surveillance. All hell breaks loose and though he conceals his role letting the cops take credit for a car ring bust, she knows in her gut her boyfriend was in the middle. She has doubts about their relationship as she struggles with his occupation and his mob family. They went to the ballet and now attend a U of Mass-Lowell baseball game in which pitching phenom Ty Wallace is expected to star. Instead he looks sickly and worried as the opponents Bentley College batter him.
Soon after the baseball debacle, Ty’s dad Zack asks Ronan to learn what is troubling his son. Soon afterward, the police suspect Ty of killing his potential agent’s assistant. Ronan follows clues seeking the identity of the killer though increasingly he feels the pitcher struck out even as he follows a lead to Fenway Park and Boston’s Back Bay.
The second Marino private investigative thriller (see Two Redheads and a Blonde) is a terrific gritty Lowell Noir starring a hero trapped between his mob roots and his gut obsession with justice. The characters make the regional story line fun to read as Ronan is helped by his friend Eddie the cop and Tony his mob enforcer cousin as well as the females in his life starting with the good doctor and the female P.I. The whodunit is entreatingly well-written, but it is the cast and the city with minor league baseball and hockey thriving along the banks of the Merrimack.