Post-mortem Effects

(Critical Survey of Contemporary Fiction)

Thomas Boyle returns to detective Francis DeSales, professor Timothy Desmond, and newscaster Megan Moore from his previous thriller, ONLY THE DEAD KNOW BROOKLYN, with the same sure hand for detail and dialogue that distinguished the earlier novel. This time, however, he has jumped into Brooklyn’s multiethnic and religious caldron, into tensions created by real-estate development as it destroys traditional neighborhoods. A missing boy is discovered in a Hasidic yeshiva, a mutilated black Haitian man turns up in the Shinto shrine in the Brooklyn Botanic Gardens, and Megan Moore, the highly visible host of a controversial talk show, is kidnapped by a dealer who is trying to divert the police from the major drug scam he is organizing.

Although all the crimes take place in Brooklyn, they are not necessarily connected, as detective DeSales discovers, so that by the novel’s conclusion an assortment of crazies and social misfits have been run to ground, Professor Desmond’s son, Nick, has been lifted from under his nose, and DeSales has become vulnerable to the charms of newscaster Moore.

Boyle not only reveals a wonderfully detailed knowledge of Brooklyn and its history and customs but also crafts a story that is both literate and thoughtful, full of compassion and understanding. POST-MORTEM EFFECTS makes a leap forward from ONLY THE DEAD KNOW BROOKLYN and establishes Boyle as one of the most interesting and exciting crime writers working today.