RoadTrip America

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The Strangler, by William Landay and Stephen Hoye (Narrator)


This book is primarily about three brothers and their involvement with the mob and police corruption in Boston during the early sixties. Joe Daley, the eldest of the brothers, is a homicide detective with a gambling addiction. He owes a bookie over $20,000, which really means he owes the mob that amount since they own the bookmakers. The mob's enforcer, known as "The Animal" because of his viciousness and tendency to resort to murder, gives Joe two choices if he doesn't pay off his debt in 24 hours. Joe can work for the mob or have his wife or one of his kids killed. Joe's younger brother Michael is a lawyer assigned to a task force that is investigating the rapes and murders committed by the Boston Strangler. The youngest brother is Ricky, a very talented burglar who has no record and who has never been suspected of a crime. When he steals a bag of uncut diamonds from the hotel room of a jeweler who has paid for mob protection, he finds himself in big trouble with the mob as well as the police. The brothers must not only deal with the mob, but with the police corruption and Boston city politics they think may have played a role in their father's death.

Landay's story is action-packed with murders and violence, and the tension mounts as the heat is put on police corruption that is closely linked to the mob. Fueling this fire are Michael with his dogged determination to find the real Boston Strangler and Ricky's girlfriend, an investigative newspaper reporter who wants to expose police corruption in Boston. Landry skillfully entwines actual characters from 1963 Boston with a fictional Irish-American family of very different brothers to create a story that is believable and engrossing. Each of the brothers shows strengths as well as flaws, much like members of a real family.

Stephen Hoye, the narrator, adds another element of excellence to this audio book. Through Hoye's talented presentation, the listener is drawn to the complex personalities and relationships of the brothers. I highly recommend this book for its intriguing plot, surprising solutions and appealing characters. Landay explores the values of honesty and loyalty when tested by violence and corruption to come up with a story that is entertaining and thought-provoking.

John Mormon

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