By Bruce DeSIlva, Forge, $24.99, 303 pages

10“In a state where politicians lie like the rest of us breathe, the newspaper is the only institution people trust to tell the truth…I wanted to be a part of it.”

Newspaperman Liam Mulligan’s town is burning to the ground. His Rhode Island neighborhood is being attacked by a serial arsonist who is stumping all authorities involved. Mulligan doesn’t just want a prize winning scoop and story. He also wants to catch the criminal before more people wind up dead.

Author Bruce DeSilva introduces this old-school reporter in Rogue Island. The Newspaper business is a dying one, and DeSilva illustrates how difficult it must be to work in an industry where your biggest competition is the Internet. Reporters have to be quick on their toes. To get the latest information, Mulligan isn’t above going to the bookies, corrupt politicians and the strip clubs. As a Pulitzer Prize winner, he could likely work at any big city paper, but he chooses to stay in his small town where he knows everyone by name. He conducts his investigations into the fires not unlike a police officer would – but he doesn’t have the legal restraints to tie him down. This is DeSilva’s debut novel, but it feels as if he has been writing for years. He’ll become one of your favorite new authors.

Reviewed by Kathryn Franklin