Finished Brighton by Michael Harvey.  I received a copy from the publisher for review.

Summary (from Goodreads):

An extraordinary thriller—gripping, haunting, and marvelously told—about two friends growing up in a rapidly changing Boston, who must face the sins of their past in the midst of a series of brutal murders

”You came back here to bury your past… Thing is, you gotta kill it first.”

Kevin Pearce—baseball star, honor student, the pride of Brighton—was fifteen when he left town in the back of his uncle’s cab. He and his buddy, Bobby Scales, just committed a heinous act of violence for what they thought were the best of reasons. Kevin didn’t want a pass, but he was getting it anyway. Bobby would stay and face the music; Kevin’s future would remain as bright as ever. At least that was the way things were supposed to work. Except in Brighton, things never work the way they’re supposed to.

Twenty-seven years later, Kevin is a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist for the Boston Globe. He’s never been back to his old block, having avoided his family and, especially, Bobby Scales. Then he learns his old friend is the prime suspect in a string of local murders. All of the sudden Kevin’s headed home—to protect a friend and the secret they share. To report this story to the end and protect those he loves, he must navigate not only an elusive, slippery killer, but his own corrupted conscience.

A powerhouse of a thriller, Brighton is a riveting and elegiac exploration of promises broken, debts owed, and old wrongs made right . . . no matter what the cost.”

Oh, guys, this book.  I started it and there were all these ways that things could work out well for the characters.  And then, inexorably, each path started getting closed off.

Brighton was relentless and I kept reading faster and faster, hoping that somehow things would still work out well for Kevin and Bobby—both of whom I loved immediately—and knowing that, AT BEST, things would only work for one of them.  And that even that was quite a long shot.

It’s not a noir, but that was the feeling I had reading this: it started dark, got progressively darker and the quality of a possible happy ending kept changing.  (By the end, I was like, “Can I just have them alive?”)

This book was flat-out amazing.  Highly recommended.


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