WBUR review: “A Smoky Light On Lives In The Shadows”

dark alleyThank you, WBUR’s Carol Iaciofano for the excellent review:

“The 1950s seems a familiar decade, nestled in a buoyant post-war economy that expanded the middle class and generated an avid consumer society. But before the Princess phones, Eldorado tailfins and backyard Weber grills, there was a short, but sharp, recession. By 1951, Boston was still struggling.

This is the year, and this is the town, of “Serpents in the Cold,” a skinned-knuckle mystery by co-authors Thomas O’Malley and Douglas Graham Purdy. In the best noir tradition, these co-authors shine a smoky light on lives often lived in shadows; in this case, the inhabitants who lived in Scollay Square and the West End of Boston, before it all disappeared under the developers’ wrecking ball…

A noir novel can be the high, slippery tightrope of mysteries. It’s difficult to sustain a dark, moody balance; many writers slide right off into caricature. But O’Malley and Purdy let in just enough daylight – even if it’s harsh winter light – to hold out hope of redemption.”

Read more here.

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