To solve Rhode Island's budget crisis, the state's colorful governor, Attila the Nun, wants to legalize sports gambling, but her plan has unexpected consequences. Organized crime, professional sports leagues, and others who have a lot to lose - or gain - if gambling is made legal flood the state with money to buy the votes of state legislators.
Liam Mulligan, investigative reporter for The Providence Dispatch, wants to investigate, but his bottom-feeding corporate bosses at the dying newspaper have no interest in serious reporting. So Mulligan goes rogue, digging into the story on his own time. When a powerful state legislator turns up dead, an out-of-state bag man gets shot, and his cash-stuffed briefcase goes missing, Mulligan finds himself the target of shadowy forces who seek to derail his investigation by destroying his career, his reputation, and perhaps even his life.
Bruce DeSilva's A Scourge of Vipers is at once a suspenseful crime story and a serious exploration of the hypocrisy surrounding sports gambling and the corrupting influence of big money on politics.
This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?
I think you would need to be a truly hard-core Mulligan fan to enjoy this, and, even then, you have to admit that the book is the least of the three. It may be fiction, but it has the feel of reporting with really good Providence accents. The only gags that make you chuckle are from the first two books, like Attila the Nun, the mayor of Providence. Otherwise, it reads like straight reporting with an attempt to be funny, which fails more often than it succeeds.
What do you think your next listen will be?
I don't think I will listen to another Mulligan book. I think this brief series has run its course. You can find way better books about modern-day urban corruption, and you can find more appealing protagonists than Liam Mulligan. You also can find more suspenseful writing. Almost anything by Dennis Lehane beats this stuff with a stick.
Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Jeff Woodman?
I don't think that would matter. It's the material, by and large, that keeps you reading. Joe Barrett might be able to make this sound better.
You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?
As I said, a few chuckles. A few insights into corrupt local politics. A car with an unfunny name: Secretariat, for a beat-up forty year old clunker. Very few qualities that would make me spend my money on this kind of thing again.
Any additional comments?
Nope. Save yer sawbucks.
6 of 6 people found this review helpful
I blew through the first three books of the series and gave each one a rave review. So I am confused at why I found this book more juvenile and trite. It coud be the book, but It suspect it is my demeaner. Alot has happened to me since I finished the last novel.
So if you are a fan of The Providence Rag series, take this review with a grain of salt. However, if you havent read any of the novels in the series, start with Providence Rag and stay far away from this one.
7 of 8 people found this review helpful
I think it is best to start by saying how much I really enjoyed this series. In fact, I enjoyed this book... Though less than the others. Why? I simply cannot explain why an otherwise decent author feels obliged to load an otherwise excellent novel with all of his personal political leanings. It is FAR worse in this book.
I see this happen time and again where an author allows his hubris to control his writing. It would seem that the author thinks his political opinions, whether they be progressive or conservative, are important to the novel or worse, important to their readers! They are not of course. People buy fiction, or at least I do, to get away from reality. If I truly wanted to hear all those stupid left-wing and right wing wing nuts, I'd just turn on CNN, MSNBC, or Fox. No, I buy fiction to get away from that crap. I simply do not believe that political opinion should permeate a fictional novel as it does in this book.
Anyway, as I said, the book is not bad and I suspect that if your political persuasions are those of the author, you will do just fine. but as for me, as I mentioned above, the author's political commentary should not be in his books. They distract from the novel, are 100% unnecessary, and even if I agree with them, that is not relevant. I will not continue with this author if he continues to write in this manner.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful
Any additional comments?
Just get it and ignore the Naysayers!The Author and Narrator combo here is first rate.DeSilva delivers yet again and Woodman is an amazing narrator - particularly suited to this text/genre, but I suspect is great in a variety of contexts.Woodman convincingly manages rapidly exchanging dialogue across gender and context.DeSilva is a great writer. A key observant 'eye' on society.Eagerly awaiting the next listen from these two great artists.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Terrific (end?) of a three story series. I really hope there turns out to be more adventures of my favorite newspaper reporter. Go ahead and spend your credit here, you won't be sorry!
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
DeSilva has written a very enjoyable series featuring Liam Mulligan, an old-school investigative reporter for a Rhode Island daily paper that has a great legacy, but is slowly dying. (The series in order: Roque Island, Cliff Walk, Providence Rag and A Scourge of Vipers.) This is the final in the series to date -- and in it a 40-something Liam gets into one scrape after the next as he seeks to report the truth about corruption and crime -- but his outlook is always pretty positive as he figures the way out of the troubles. Truth doesn't always prevail and justice isn't always served, but that's what makes these stories so good. They are realistic (for the most part) and believable. Jeff Woodman's narration as always is great -- invoking various NE dialects and drawls and even provides a good rendition of women's voices. Don't start the series with this one -- although it can stand alone. You will find that listening to all four (I just re-listened to the first three in order before starting this one) will add much to your experience.
2 of 3 people found this review helpful
Wow! Did you miss bashing anyone that wasn’t a liberal. If I wanted politics, I would have selected something else yuck!
This is a fun read and a great performance. DaSilva has a way of telling a story in an earthy, almost gritty way much like talking to friends in the old neighborhood. The reading is as good as the book and complements itto the point of making the listener feel comfortable with the main character as though hearing the story while sitting across from him in your local pub or favorite diner.
Loved it. Bruce De Silva books are my go to for light hearted reading. Mulligan is hilarious and smart. Can't wait for next one.
I have ALL of Bruce DeSilva's books on Audible and pre-ordered this one almost two months in advance. They are raw, funny, realistic, and just plain ole good reads! Hope he doesn't stop writing them. Muligan's humor, wit, laid-back attitude and height is everything I need a man. Lol!
0 of 2 people found this review helpful