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The Poor Boy's Game

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3.86 of 5 stars 3.86  ·  rating details  ·  51 ratings  ·  12 reviews
When US Marshal Frannie Mullen gets one of her best friends shot during a routine apprehension, her career is over. Still reeling from the loss, Frannie is trying to sort out her feelings for Wyatt, the reformed outlaw who loves her, and to support her newly-sober sister, Mae, as she struggles with the fallout of their unstable, violent childhood.

Their father Patrick Mulle
...more
Hardcover, 336 pages
Published April 29th 2014 by Minotaur Books
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Benoit Lelievre
This wasn't the type of novel I thought it would be at all, but THE POOR BOY'S GAME is an answer to the following question : what happens when you turn a crime novel inside out? You get a family drama. Did I expect that? Not at all. Did I enjoy THE POOR BOY'S GAME? Yes, it sneaked up on me and offered a finale so gut-wrenching and graphic, it'll stay with me for a while.

It took me a while to understand THE POOR BOY'S GAME was written from the sideline of its main conflict, opposing ex-Philadelph
...more
Gloria Feit
The Poor Boy’s Game
By Dennis Tafoya
Minotaur Books
April 29, 2014
ISBN: 978-1-250-01953-0
Hardcover, 322 pp., $25.99
Reviewed by Gloria Feit

U.S. Marshal Frannie Mullen has had a difficult life: Her father, after years of being an enforcer for a corrupt Philadelphia union, has just escaped from Federal prison; her sister has just come out of rehab after being sober for 28 days; she herself is in a relationship with a reformed outlaw (with similar issues in his family background), her ambivalent feelin
...more
Albert
Title - The Poor Boy's Game

Author - Dennis Tafoya

Summary -

When US Marshal Frannie Mullen gets one of her best friends shot during a sting operation, her career is over. Still reeling from the loss, Frannie is trying to sort out her feelings for Wyatt, the reformed outlaw who loves her, and to support her newly-sober sister, Mae, as she struggles with the fallout of their unstable, violent childhood. The murder of her own mother at the hand of her father.

Their father Patrick Mullen is a thug, a
...more
Larry Strattner
I read many thrillers and shoot-em-up novels (I even write a few myself) mostly I don't review these because they are a rather formulaic genre and although many are enjoyable they are, in many ways, predictable.

Elmore Leonard used to stun me once in a while and I can even remember saying, wow! out loud after one of his endings. Generally though, this doesn't happen, and it didn't happen with Tafoya's "Poor Boy's Game." With this book it was more like reading an exciting narrative poem. It moved
...more
Dj
May 05, 2014 Dj rated it 2 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2014
I'm from the south side of Chicago so south Philly, it's people and their behaviors are very familiar to me. Tafoya's language and plots are the most authentic I've ever read. Others try to do this and fail miserably. Tafoya is dead-on. Some of his characters are replicas of people I've known in my lifetime. I didn't love this one. I just couldn't care about Frannie. She is a jerk and I didn't really care when the bad things happened to her. However, Dope Thief is one of the greatest novels I've ...more
Lucas Mangum
With his latest novel, Dennis Tafoya proves yet again that to pigeonhole him as a genre writer would be a huge disservice to the work he does. THE POOR BOY'S GAME is a fast read, a propulsive crime thriller for sure, but it has an aching intimacy that resonates on many levels. The main reason for this closeness is the protagonist, Frannie Mullen. A damaged, tough, human character, she grabs you by the heart and pulls you into her story. Highly recommended.
Jon
Brilliant and powerful, brutal yet lyrical, The Poor Boy’s Game peels back the tragic layers of lives shaped by crime. Dennis Tafoya’s eloquent, understated tenderness for his characters leaves you reeling from the cruelty they inflict upon each other, and that life sometimes inflicts upon us all. A deeply satisfying read that nonetheless leaves you wanting more.
E.J. Eisman
Breakout the tomato pie! The Poor Boy’s Game brings old Philidelphia and current Philidelphia in this tale about ex-U.S. Marshall Fannie Mullen brought back into the Marshall service to flush out her convicted and recently escaped ex-labor enforcer father. The trail takes Fannie to all parts of the city, masterfully painted by Dennis Tafoya in this gritty, nose bleed, nail biter. You would think Tony Luke was himself serving up his cheesesteaks on this no-getting-off Septa bus. Simply delish!
Nik Korpon
A very unexpected crime novel. Tafoya treads in the world street-level criminals and estranged families, both with a sympathetic and unprejudiced eye. France Mullen is a complicated protagonist we won't soon forget.
John McKenna
This is a propulsive, action packed thrill ride that you just can't seem to quit reading. Another up and coming author to keep your eye on.
John Langan
THE POOR BOY'S GAME is a fast, furious read... Full of raw Philly scenery and dizzying plot twists. Both books I've read by Dennis Tafoya (the previously enjoyed DOPE THIEF) contain flawed protagonists with family issues. U.S. Marshall Frannie Mullen is a complex character fraught with guilt and angst, who relentlessly rallies when the world turns against her.

The quick pace and action of the story left some details about the characters unanswered, but the journey through Philadelphia's working
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Harvey
DNF.

Very disappointing effort from a writer I considered very promising based on previous two books.

While previous efforts rang true, this was very flat and stilted.
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Dennis
Oct 24, 2014 Dennis added it  ·  (Review from the author)
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Dennis Tafoya is the author of two crime novels, Dope Thief and The Wolves in Fairmount Park, both from St. Martin’s, as well as numerous short stories. He is a member of the Mystery Writers of America, the International Thriller Writers, and the Liars Club, a Philadelphia-area group of writers, producers and other creative types. He lives in Doylestown, Pennsylvania, where he is currently at work ...more
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