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Cliff Walk: A Liam Mulligan Novel

(Liam Mulligan #2)

3.82  ·  Rating details ·  630 ratings  ·  105 reviews
Prostitution has been legal in Rhode Island for more than a decade; Liam Mulligan, an old-school investigative reporter at dying Providence newspaper, suspects the governor has been taking payoffs to keep it that way. But this isn’t the only story making headlines…a child’s severed arm is discovered in a pile of garbage at a pig farm. Then the body of an internet pornograp ...more
Paperback, 320 pages
Published May 14th 2013 by Forge Books (first published May 22nd 2012)
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Average rating 3.82  · 
Rating details
 ·  630 ratings  ·  105 reviews

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Apr 05, 2012 rated it really liked it
I can do sarcastic smart-ass all day long. In fact, I want to love it and squeeze it and then kiss it on the forehead. Liam Mulligan may have a tendency to marry the crazies, but he sure does know how to fire off the one-liners. And that worked for me. The man may not walk around with a loaded gun in his pants, but he has a loaded weapon between his lips, and he’s not afraid to use it. Yes, indeed, he shoveled more shit than a circus performer, and he put more than one smile on my face.

Tim The Enchanter
A Gut Turning 4 Stars

Unlike the previous novel in the series, Cliff Walk is much darker and grittier. In large part, this is because of the books plot which involves, in part, the child porn business and the murder of children. It is at times, a disturbing look into this despicable world. A few time could feel the characters anger as I imagined what I would do to someone who hurt my children like the villians in story. At no time is Bruce DeSilva insensitive to this serious and delicate topic.
Fair hard-boiled detective novel, where our protagonist Mulligan investigates the seedy underworld of adult film making, prostitution and child pornography.

I like the way DeSilva pays frequent homage to the authors who paved the way, Dashiell Hammett, Robert B. Parker and others.

I am inspired by Mulligan's clever individual ringtones, and will try to spice mine up a bit.

And I like the angle of his being a journalist in a time when traditional journalism is dying, newspapers shutting down. Journa
John Bohnert
Feb 15, 2016 rated it really liked it
I've now read the first two books ROGUE ISLAND (2010) and CLIFF WALK (2012) about reporter Liam Mulligan. I really enjoy these crime fiction novels. There are at least four books so far in this engrossing series.
A much darker novel than "Rogue Island", the first book in this series. Any book dealing with child porn is unlikely to be a light read, and this one is disturbing. It's only one of several plots that wind their way through the book, though. One of the foremost is the slow death of the newspaper business. DeSilva, as a former reporter, does a great job of spelling out a lot of the backstory behind this historical event.
Things I would like (or not) to see in upcoming DeSilva novels:
1) the disapp
Aug 17, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Typical PI book. I read it because I love the Cliffwalk in RI.
Nick Rojas
Not as complex as its successor, and lacking the same kind of charm from its predecessor, Cliff Walk does suffer slightly from a sophomore slump, but only a little. This book was still a page turner, with each new break in the case feeling worthy of celebration. The subject matter is definitely dark, but it was exciting to see him get closer and closer to solving the case.

Edit: I wrote the above review mere seconds before passing out. Anyway - I really enjoy reading Mulligan novels and this help
Marjorie Ingall
I was charmed by Rogue Island, DaSilva's debut novel. I liked Mulligan as a character (I read an interview with DaSilva in which he said he visualized Mulligan as looking like Dennis Leary, which, um, yes, that works). And as a Rhode Islander who still misses her home state, I loved the portrayal of my corrupt, scruffy ancestral homeland. Plus as a bitter writer (for magazines mostly, newspapers occasionally -- but my dad had a column in the Providence Journal for a while, and he worked with a l ...more
Jim A
Dec 01, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The second book from Bruce DeSilva and I have enjoyed both of them. The main character is an investigative reporter, Liam Mulligan (just Mulligan) for a slowly dying newspaper in Rhode Island.

DeSilva, himself once a newspaper reporter, spins a good yarn. He also gives some great insight into the reason newspapers are in the financial trouble they are in---they ignored the internet in the early days.

DeSilva’s writing is in a style I have come to appreciate with the growing popularity of eBook au
I had read Rogue Island, DeSilva's first (and award-winning) Mulligan novel and had been anxiously awaiting Cliff Walk. It was certainly worth the wait. Liam Mulligan is a fascinating character--a long-time journalist in a fast-fading newspaper business who can't stop digging into a complex story. And the story he's digging into is full of low-life characters that may or may not be connected to the very worst kind of pornography and are certainly murderers. A page-turner of the first degree, I h ...more
Jun 07, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: michael-read
3.5 stars

Good if grisly plot, interesting main character. I do get tired of his verbose sexual angst but Mulligan is mostly likable and who can resist the classic wiseass amateur detective? Sounds like there is a career change coming - the descriptions of the waning of print jounalism are poignant.
Aug 11, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Enjoyed this one as much as Rogue Island
Jul 28, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Loved the first book & loved this, too. The subject matter is upsetting, focused on prostitution & child porn. ...more
Jun 06, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Cliff Walk: Bruce DeSilva

Reviewed by Fran Lewis

Imagine the sight of a young child’s severed arm found in pile of garbage on a pig farm. The pain this child endured could not be described in words and the sight of the shattered bones almost surreal to the owner of the farm. Although it is a reputable business Scialic Recycling was where this body part was found but when listening to the conversation between the owner and investigative reporter Liam Mulligan you would think they were referring to
Mar 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone
This was another audiobook we listen to on vacation. We really liked it, especially all the references to our local area. I definitely recommend to anyone
Oct 24, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Reporter Liam Mulligan from the start knows this is going to be a very unpleasant story. Cosmo Scalici raises hogs and hogs will eat just about anything that ends up in their pens. That includes a child’s arm. While local law enforcement now has killed the hog so they can hopefully retrieve whatever is left of some little girl’s arm and hand, finding out to whom it belonged to and where it came from is going to be very hard. When Cosmo Scalici isn’t dealing with the hogs, he runs company, Scalic ...more
Linda Baker
Jun 01, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobooks
It is hard to believe that Bruce DeSilva has topped last year's Edgar Best First Novel and Macavity winner, Rogue Island, but Cliff Walk surpasses it. Set on the mean streets of Providence RI, Liam Mulligan is back writing stories at the dying Providence Dispatch. Staff has been cut back so far that Liam is reduced to covering the social beat and writing obits along with whatever investigative reporting he can work in. Two seemingly unrelated events set him off on a new investigation; the discov ...more
Oct 28, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The pieces of a young child's body being eaten in a pig farm. A pornographer shot dead. Legal prostitution. Religious zealots picketing adult clubs. A crusading attorney general, who is also a nun, pushing women's rights. All in the little state of Rhode Island. Criminal reporter Liam Mulligan and his collection of personal ringtones is at it again.

"He won't hurt you none," Zerilli said. "He's fuckin' harmless."
"Where'd you get him?"
"The pound."
"Got a name for him yet?"
"Calling him Shortsto
After a series of seemingly random murders piques the interest of Liam Mulligan, all bets are off as he begins to investigate.

Stuck in his ever increasing dead end job as a reporter for the failing Providence Dispatch newspaper, Mulligan finds himself shuffled off to cover jobs he never would have thanks to a depleted staff at the paper.

When he covers a society party, he notices a reputed criminal cozying up to a politician. And when that criminal later turns up dead, it sets Mulligan off to rep
Mar 15, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reporter, crime, action
#2 in the Liam Mulligan series. Author DeSilva has done himself proud in this 2012 follow-up to his 2010 award winning debut novel "Rogue Island". Mulligan was a hard drinking, cigar smoking, investigative reporter for a Providence newspaper. Stomach pains have toned down the drinking and smoking, and budget cuts are reducing the time available for investigation; in fact, we first encounter Mulligan in this novel as he attends a Newport charity gala to cover for the society reporter, who has qui ...more
Don Casto
Feb 15, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Bruce DeSilva's second novel was every bit as well written and captivating as his first. It was one of those books that I was found myself dreading the dwindling down of unread pages, knowing that my adventure into the world of Liam Mulligan was finite and temporary. It ended leaving me ready . . .very ready to begin the next . .

Cliff Walk brings back many of wonderfully crafted characters from first book and reveals more of their part in Mulligan's world . .sometimes in surprising ways. The di
Edward Barrett
Feb 23, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mysteries
Brude DeSilva's Cliff Walk is the second volume in his series featuring reporter Liam Mulligan. His first, Rogue Island, won the Edgar Award for best first novel, and this sequel is a worthy next chapter.

Mulligan is a reporter for the struggling Providence newspaper. As staff is continually cut, Mulligan finds himself balancing such routine tasks as writing obituaries (where his boredom produces some interesting results) with his real interest -- investigative reporting and digging deeply into m
Bruce DeSilva's second Mulligan novel is as engaging as the first. Mulligan is a reporter for the failing Rhode Island newspaper, the Dispatch. As a veteran reporter, he has inserted himself into the lives of dozens of influential Rhode Islanders, ranging from mobsters to pimps to police captains.

In Cliff Walk, Mulligan witnesses a murder at a Newport charity ball. The killing is linked to a relentless web of crimes, and Mulligan finds himself in the center, running elbows with both sides of the
Kenneth Wishnia
Feb 03, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Take a walk with Bruce DeSilva, but as he cautions us in the tale, “Don’t get too close to the edge.” CLIFF WALK serves up another home run from last year’s Edgar Award winner for Best First Novel for ROGUE ISLAND, full of corrupt Rhode Island politics (is there any other kind?), righteous anger, and his newspaper reporter protagonist Mulligan’s despair over the shrinking power of the newsroom, as in this exchange:

“I love your work, darling.”
“So you’re the one,” I said.

DeSilva also skewers vacuo
M.M. Silva
Jul 06, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good Sunday morning! It's a beautiful day in New England, and I hope the same is true wherever you are.

This week's book was Cliff Walk by Bruce DeSilva. I recommended a different book of his a couple of weeks ago and enjoyed it so much that I immediately decided to read Cliff Walk. And okay, I liked it well enough that I just downloaded another one, Rogue Island. Of course, I'm reading them completely out-of-order, but what else is new? Let's just say Bruce has a new fan.

Anyway, this book sees m
Kathleen Hagen
Cliff Walk, by Bruce DeSilva, a-minus, narrated by Jeff Woodman, produced by audible inc. downloaded from

This is the second book in the Liam Mulligan series about a journalist in Rhode Island who is working for a dying newspaper. He receives a call from a friendly cop that brings him out to a pig farm where dump trucks routinely dump garbage to be eaten by the pigs, seemingly as a form of recycling. Only the pig farm owner finds one of his pigs trying to eat the arm of a child. Peop
Matthew Lawrence
May 29, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm not sure why it took me so long to read this book since it's a crime novel about prostitution in Rhode Island and that's, you know, a thing I've been interested in for years now. A body's thrown off the Newport Cliff Walk, but then a child's hand is found by a Johnston pig farmer, a thinly disguised Louis Vinagro. Arlene Violet is there, and over the course of the investigation the detective eats at every touristy restaurant in the state (Haven Bros! Jack's! The White Horse Tavern!) He also ...more
Somehow I kept this author on my list to read when I wasn't impressed by the first book in this series. The best part was the snippet of poetry written by the author's wife. I think that authors sometimes try to come up with more and more horrifying scenarios to gain attention to their mysteries when, if it's written well, all you need is a puzzle to rally your characters, dialogue and plot around. I liked Mulligan a little more this time around but he didn't have a particularly fresh voice comp ...more
Thomas Bruso
May 31, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Bruce DeSilva's second Liam Mulligan novel, "Cliff Walk," is a brilliant, if not slightly flawed, whodunit.

DeSilva's quick-witted, acerbic reporter, Mulligan, returns to dodge a handful of bullets (literally), bad guys from every walk of life, and the gritty side of Rhode Island, which he paints to a perfect tee.

With a long list of well-drawn colorful characters and their bad habits, DeSilva can write a twisty suspense novel to keep readers flipping pages to the unnerving climax, where a dangero
Mar 01, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
No sophomore slump for Bruce DeSilva. In fact, this second entry in the series is better than the entertaining Rogue Island, which introduced us to Mulligan, a wisecracking, cigar smoking, investigative reporter at the Providence Dispatch.

A local internet porn king is murdered. Body parts of children are showing up everywhere. The Rhode Island AG wants to outlaw prostitution. How it all ties together is an entertaining read.

Mulligan knows everyone (all colorful characters) and uses those relatio
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Bruce DeSilva grew up in a tiny Massachusetts mill town where the mill closed when he was ten. He had an austere childhood bereft of iPods, X-Boxes, and all the other cool stuff that hadn’t been invented yet. In this parochial little town, metaphors and alliteration were also in short supply. Nevertheless, his crime fiction has won the Edgar and Macavity Awards; has been listed as a finalist for t ...more

Other books in the series

Liam Mulligan (5 books)
  • Rogue Island (Liam Mulligan, #1)
  • Providence Rag (Liam Mulligan, #3)
  • A Scourge of Vipers (Liam Mulligan, #4)
  • The Dread Line: A Mulligan Novel

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