Rogue's Justice: A Michael Carolina Mystery

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9780312144029: Rogue's Justice: A Michael Carolina Mystery
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Michael Carolina just wanted to sail off to the South Seas and forget about Rhode Island and the world of TV news. But then Lilly Simmons, his on-again, off-again girlfriend, gets plowed - literally. It's time for Michael to come home and sort out the mess.
Things have changed in the Ocean State. Carolina's old TV station is now tightfisted and "respectable." His old sources have been promoted and no longer provide good leads. His old boss dates a judge. It's enough to make a tired reporter want to hit someone. Naturally, when Carolina does, he's charged with a felony.
Rogue's Justice takes Providence's most intrepid journalist on a whirlwind tour of the state courts, city hall, and the office of the medical examiner. Carolina encounters a slew of bizarre characters: a mob enforcer who sits on people; a state worker who collects body parts; and one very hungry reptile. But this second Carolina mystery also marks the return of crazed radio talk-show host Reverend Rasmus and Providence's comical yet sinister chief executive, Joey Giovannetti.

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From Kirkus Reviews:

``Bank on it,'' sometime Channel 3 newsman Michael Carolina had said when investigative producer Lilly Simmons asked him to come back as he sailed off into the sunset at the end of Rogue's Isles (1995). But who thought the hook for his return would be finding out who plowed Lilly into a smothering snowbank? With scarcely a clue what tip took Lilly down to Providence's Waterplace in the middle of a snowstorm, Carolina can rely on only one bedrock truth: Everybody in the nation's smallest state is covering up for someone else. When he traces the anonymous caller who told him Lilly's death was suspicious to the Medical Examiner's office, the tipster gets smeared and fired. When he leans on the Providence Director of Personnel to explain how the city hired a convicted felon to plow the city streets, she's history, and soon the felon is, too, snowed under in his own way by smiling Mayor Joey Giovannetti. Underneath all the surface stench is a pizzeria where the oven got really hot, a Medical Examiner who doesn't feel the need to do his own postmortems, and a thick pad of habeas corpus writs that make ``life sentence in Providence'' into an oxymoron. But don't look too closely at the ramshackle plot; just assume that the entire establishment's up to its neck in reptiles, and you won't be far off. Briody is a lot better at setting up his criminous targets than at knocking them down (after all, with target opportunities like this, who could miss?). Even so, it's a pleasure spending a second merry term with the felons who run Rhode Island. -- Copyright ©1996, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

From Publishers Weekly:

Briody, formerly a TV reporter and currently a lawyer, uses his expertise in both areas, plus a considerable talent for story, setting and character, to produce his second city-smart Michael Carolina mystery (after Rogue's Isles, 1995). Investigative reporter Carolina's city is Providence, R.I., where the public figures are nearly as funny as they are corrupt and dangerous. Carolina is sailing the South Seas when he gets word that Lilly Simmons, his partner (in love and reportage), has been nastily dispatched by a Providence city snowplow. He flies back to do some digging of his own, and discovers that not all the corrupt citizens are behind bars. Briody has the unique sounds of a working-class Rhode Island accent down pat, and with a few deft details brings to life a gallery of darkly comic characters. Arthur Goulet, who works for the coroner's office, is making a "sangwidge" when Carolina comes to quiz him about Lilly's death; he has to move a jar of specimens to get to the mayonnaise. With the likes of Mayor Joey Giovannetti, as coarse and as shrewd as they come, and "Lazy" Lenny Costa, a 400-pound snowplow driver who collects for loan sharks by sitting on bad debtors, Briody creates a terrific supporting cast for his protagonist. Carolina himself needs work, though, sailing through this enjoyable outing with a casual ease that's a little out of sync with his sharp-edged fellow characters.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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