Wednesday 23 March 2022

Shoot the Moonlight Out by William Boyle Blog Tour

 I do believe that the genre of crime is becoming more and more popular and I think that is in part due to the fact that there isn't just one type of crime. We all know cosy-crime is on the up and then there are your crime thrillers.

Author William Boyle writes crime in such a way that it doesn't always read like a crime novel. And this is definitely the case with his latest novel Shoot The Moonlight Out. I think I describe it that way as at times it is very intimate in the way that it is written.


Southern Brooklyn, July 1996. Fire hydrants are open and spraying water on the sizzling blacktop. Punk kids have to make their own fun. Bobby Santovasco and his pal Zeke like to throw rocks at cars getting off the Belt Parkway. They think it’s dumb and harmless until it’s too late to think otherwise. Then there’s Jack Cornacchia, a widower who lives with his high school age daughter Amelia and reads meters for Con Ed but also has a secret life as a vigilante, righting neighborhood wrongs through acts of violence. A simple mission to strong-arm a Bay Ridge con man, Max Berry, leads him to cross paths with a tragedy that hits close to home.    

Fast forward five years: June 2001. The summer before New York City and the world changed for good. Charlie French is a low-level gangster-wannabe trying to make a name for himself. When he stumbles onto a bowling alley locker stuffed with a bag full of cash, he brings it to his only pal, Max Berry, for safekeeping while he cleans up the mess surrounding it. Bobby Santovasco, with no real future mapped out—and the big sin of his past shining brightly in his rearview mirror—has taken a job working as an errand boy for Max Berry. On a recruiting run for Max’s Ponzi scheme, Bobby meets Francesca Clarke, born in the neighborhood but an outsider nonetheless. They hit it off. Bobby gets the idea to knock off Max’s safe so he and Francesca can escape Brooklyn forever. Little does he know what Charlie French has stashed there.

Meanwhile, Bobby’s former stepsister, Lily Murphy, is back home in the neighborhood after college, teaching a writing class in the basement of St. Mary's church. She's also being stalked by her college boyfriend. One of her students is Jack Cornacchia. When she opens up to him about her stalker, Jack decides to take matters into his own hands.

The story begins in 1996 in Brooklyn, when teenage boys Bobby and Zeke after encouraging each other to throw rocks into traffic, cause a fatal accident. 

We also have Jack, who is a widow and a parent to an only child but also I guess you could describe him as a vigilante.

Fast forward to 2001 and we are re-introduced to both Bobby and Jack.

Given a glimpse as to what became of them.

And this is where my feelings about this not reading like a crime novel come from. Boyle does a great job of writing something quite complex. With characters that interconnect as their lives begin to cross over.

Each chapter switches to a different character's point of view. Every one adding another layer to the story and giving us as the reader more detail. And as these specifics are revealed it becomes clearer as to just why the author as chosen to share certain things. Connections getting stronger.

The building smaller events and meaningful chance encounters all lead to consequences that I don't think anyone could have seen coming.

Raw motion bled from the pages, I felt its honesty on every page that I read.

It was refreshing because there were no picture perfect characters. Each one was flawed, broken in some way and I think that was a necessary and purposeful decision made by Boyle to make the story come across as real.

Over all I wouldn't say that the stories main focus was the crime, it was on the feeling of loss and what it can do to a person. The crime was almost an after thought.

Shoot The Moonlight Out is a great piece of literary crime fiction.

Do join the rest of the blog tour for more thoughts and insights into this tender yet explosive tale.

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