The Fourth Victim

3.74 avg rating
( 23 ratings by Goodreads )
 
9781606480106: The Fourth Victim

Several home heating oil delivery drivers have been robbed and murdered. Joe Serpe and Bob Healy, now partners in an oil company of their own, make sure their drivers are safe. But when Rusty Monaco, another ex-NYPD detective, becomes the killer's fourth victim, Serpe and Healy take matters into their own hands. In the course of their unofficial investigation they stumble upon a completely different set of crimes that lead both Serpe and Healy back onto the streets they protected as cops.

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About the Author:

Tony Spinosa was raised by nuns in a Brooklyn orphanage. It is widely rumored that he was the product of an affair between the blind daughter of a neighborhood rabbi and a local wiseguy.

From Booklist:

*Starred Review* Former NYPD enemies Joe Serpe and Bob Healy coexist as partners in a Long Island heating-oil business simply by avoiding the fact that Healy’s investigation of crooked cops cost Serpe his job as a narcotics detective. But when someone begins to murder oil delivery drivers, Serpe and Healy feel honor bound to investigate. Spinosa, aka Reed Farrel Coleman, has ginned up a really hard-edged novel set in a wonderfully gritty milieu and filled with fully fleshed characters. The plot lays out a labyrinthine but believable trail of violence, murder, corruption, politics, deep-dyed racism, and big money. Serpe and Healy are a terrific odd couple, but a dozen lesser characters are also compelling, often for their sheer coarseness or loathsomeness. Even Spinosa’s depiction of the fiercely competitive, hardscrabble business of home heating-oil delivery rings with authenticity (the author actually has a commercial license to convey hazmat materials). If that’s not enough, the first line of this fine novel—“At his best, Rusty Monaco was a miserable, self-absorbed prick, and tonight he was paying even less attention than usual to the world outside his head”—is one of the two best first lines this reviewer has come across in 25 years of hard-boiled reading (the opening to James Crumley’s The Last Good Kiss is still the best). --Thomas Gaughan

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