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Providence Rag (Liam Mulligan #3)

3.96  ·  Rating details ·  372 Ratings  ·  65 Reviews
Edgar Award-winner Bruce DeSilva returns with Liam Mulligan, an old-school investigative reporter for a dying newspaper in Providence, Rhode Island. Mulligan knows every street and alley, every priest and prostitute, every cop and street thug. He knows the mobsters and politicians—who are pretty much one and the same.

Inspired by a true story, Providence Rag finds Mulligan,
Hardcover, 352 pages
Published March 11th 2014 by Forge Books
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Tim The Enchanter
DeSilva Hits a Homerun with this Taunt and Thrilling Tale - 5 Stars

Thank you God. 2014 has been a rough year for the written word. Granted, I am writing this in the middle of March so there is much more time left to right this wrong. While having listened to many great audiobooks this year, I have not read much worth celebrating. Thankfully, Bruce DeSilva comes through again and helps me break the slump. If you haven't yet discovered this author, I suggest you go and pic up his Edgar winning
Emily March
Dec 29, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: audiobook
New series to me. I enjoyed all three of the Bruce DeSilva books that I've read/listened to in audio.
May 22, 2017 rated it liked it
What happens when a young psychopath is convicted of horrendous murders? In this instance, pulled from two true cases, the juvenile is due to be released on his 21st birthday. What if there is no doubt that the prisioner will kill again? Moral vs legal issues. Can the truth be altered to create an answer? I enjoyed the plot and characters in this first time of reading a product by this author. A different dilemma not often covered, but important to do so
May 23, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: reporter, crime
#3 in the Liam Mulligan series. An excellent novel probing the issues of the journalistic integrity, the public's "Right to know" and the question of whether the ends can justify the means. An engaging novel that transcends the detective genre, Providence Rag is an enjoyable, absorbing read. By the way, the title does not refer to the newspaper Mulligan works for (although it could), but for a piece of music that fellow reporter Mason is composing.

Liam Mulligan series - Inspired by a true story.
Apr 19, 2014 rated it liked it
The pacing was good and the plot was interesting - it kept me turning pages. There were just a couple of issues that kept this from being five stars for me though. One was the ending - I felt there was an opportunity to deliver on an element of suspense that had been building up to that point but ended up rushed and a bit anti-climactic for me. My other issue was that I would have liked to spend a little more time getting invested in the central characters. I got a hint of the people behind the ...more
Margaret Schwind
May 04, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio-books
Best so far of the three books in the series.
Nov 17, 2014 rated it it was ok
I liked the two previous books I read but this one felt sketchier and not as fully developed. The story did not interest me all that much.
Mar 11, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Providence Rag: Bruce Desilva

Imagine someone that spends every waking hour dreaming about his next kill. Imagine enjoying the smell of burnt flesh, the stench of a dead body and the sight of a mutilated animal. A serial killer finds different ways to torture, kill, maim and obliterate a life. Kwame Diggs enjoys hunting and staking out his victims, watching them go about their everyday lives and quietly sneaking into their homes and killing them. Gore does not deter him. Screams are stifled and w
John Bohnert
I've now read the first three novels about Rhode Island newspaper reporter Liam Mulligan.
I really like this guy. I intend to read A SCOURGE OF VIPERS (2015) soon.
May 21, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Liam Mulligan, investigative reporter for The Providence Dispatch newspaper has come a long way since June 1992. Back then he was a young reporter working the sports beat who, by the luck of the draw and the fact that no one else was available, was forced into helping cover from the start one of the worst murder cases in the history of Rhode Island. A case that ultimately resulted in the very justified conviction of a killer who is definitively going to kill again if he ever gets out.

In the spri
John McKenna
Jun 10, 2014 rated it really liked it
Mysterious Book Report No 161
by John Dwaine McKenna
One of my favorite literary characters and amateur sleuths is a wise-cracking, cigar-chomping, hometown-homeboy ace investigative reporter and crime-fighting journalist by the name of Liam Mulligan. He’s based in Providence, Rhode Island, working for a venerated, one hundred forty year old newspaper that’s barely managing to stay afloat, thanks mostly to the publisher’s deep sense of responsibility to the city and public he serves . . . and his
Apr 01, 2014 rated it really liked it
Most of the crime thrillers are written either from the victims' or from the detectives' perspective, but very rare from a reporter's point of view. In this third installment featuring Liam Mulligan for a newspaper in Providence, Rhode Island, readers will follow his journey in reporting (or to be exact, helps unveiling the truth on his own) the gruesome crimes committed by a teenaged boy, who finds bliss and release in his killing spree. He is not like other boys his age, who would find themsel ...more
M.M. Silva
Jun 22, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Good Sunday morning! I hope the sun is shining and the birds are chirping wherever you are today.

I finished listening to a GREAT book this week and am excited about recommending it to you. The name is Providence Rag, by Bruce DeSilva. When I read the excerpt, it didn’t completely grab me, but the author is local, so I thought I’d give it a shot. It was thought-provoking, fast-paced, sarcastic and funny. Needless to say, woo-hoo!

The premise of the book is based on a real case, and it has to do wi
Kathleen Hagen
The Providence Rag, by Bruce DeSilva, a-minus, Narrated by Jeff Woodman, Produced by Audible Inc., downloaded from

This is the latest Liam Mulligan, veteran reporter of the Providence Rag. Here we find Mulligan, his pal Mason, and the newspaper they both work for at an ethical crossroad. The youngest serial killer in history butchered five of his neighbors before he was old enough to drive. When he was caught eighteen years ago, Rhode Island's antiquated
criminal statutes - never inte
Kitty Myers
Jul 08, 2015 rated it liked it
I have now read DeSilva's first three books. He writes a crisp, clean story, one that moves along at a decent pace. He doesn't lard his stories with unnecessary description and back story, which absolutely kill momentum and enjoyment. I love his voice, and I love the characters, not to mention a perfect location.

Plus -- and this is a biggie for murder mysteries -- I never lose track of the original storyline.

So it pains me to not give 5 stars to DeSilva's PROVIDENCE RAG. He lost 2 stars because
Jeff Woodman’s narration was good although sometimes his women’s voices weren’t believable. I thought his other accents and voices of men were well done. I have liked his narration of other books so I will listen to him again.

The book itself was just ok it was a kind of slow book, but it does have a pretty good moral/ethical dilemma. A man who killed many women including children with no remorse, however, he was a teen when these crimes were committed, and now he will be released from prison whe
Giacomo Bongiovanni
May 21, 2014 rated it it was amazing
A chilling and thrilling fictional account of RI most notorious killer. Having worked with the real Mr Diggs, he was portrayed truthfully and the book brought back the chill I experienced when I had to talk to to "Diggs" about his future. He is intelligent and cunning. He truly believed he was to be released on his 21st birthday and he would attend college and resume his aberrant ways.

As for the trumped up charges, the closer Diggs got to his "release date", the more agitated he became and the m
Dan Downing
Apr 06, 2015 rated it really liked it
"Mystery " fans know the genre has been divided into several classifications, such as the 'cozy', 'noir', 'police procedural', and so on.
This entry falls into the category 'newspaper procedural', as reporter Mulligan learns some basic lessons early in his career in Part One, then in Part Two is enmeshed in the story's continuation years later when he has become a lauded veteran reporter.
There is no 'mystery' here, no clues to be deciphered, no red herrings to be gobbled up. DeSilva deserves plau
Apr 29, 2014 rated it really liked it
I really liked this book. It is the story of a terrible crime and an equally terrible criminal and two reporters - one we meet as he is young, but now more seasoned and the other young reporter.
The criminal is not rehabilitated but the law says that juveniles convicted of crimes must be released when they turn 21; but the prison system conspires to keep the kid behind bars.
One reporter works to get the kid out and the other works to keep him in prison. A scary story for our times and very well w
Jul 13, 2015 rated it liked it
DaSilva still captures local color and idiom quite well. this novel lacked some of what I think of as an 'anarchist' streak in 'noir' type fiction. By that I mean that the moral axis of the story was clear from the beginning. two well meaning reporters set out to do the right thing. There is a moral dilemma at work. Unfortunately the novel reads like a parable about journalistic ethics. This is not to say that I didn't enjoy the book only that the direction of the narrative seemed too straight f ...more
Mark Maddrey
Aug 09, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: thriller
This is one of the better books I have read lately. I have enjoyed the first two books in this series but this one hit another level. It presents a realistic and complex dilemma which I will not detail here (no spoilers) and treats it with respect and insight. I found myself running through different emotion after different emotion as I read the book. I can't wait for the next book from Mr. DiSilva.
Apr 01, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I believe that this book Providence Rag is Bruce DeSilva's best effort to date. I really liked Rogue Island but Providence Rag is even better. The characters in his book appear to be real people with real concerns, making the readability easy. I read the book in two short nights. He is one of my current favorite authors. I can't wait for his new effort. The books appear to be based on real incidents that effect real lives but in a powerful fictional way.

Dan Barrett
Oct 07, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: crime-fiction
Years ago,Kwame Diggs killed two women and three little girls. The youngest serial killer in Rhode Island, Diggs has been kept in prison by machinations of the wardens. A reporter from the Providence Dispatch starts investigating this and soon gets played by Kwame. Mulligan understands the drive to uphold the First Amendment but he knows Kwame is a psychopath. Great writing and characters distinguish this crime series.
May 25, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Amazing..I could not put this book down---I was riveted by
both the story and the incredible writing..I cannot wait to read
another book by DeSilva- Providence Rag is about a very young serial
killer who may be released far too early due to legal technicalities.
A gripping tale of the frustrating legal system and the those who try
to circumvent it to make sure that a vicious killer is not released
into society to kill again
Brandon Nagel
Apr 27, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Definitely my favorite in the series. This book does an excellent job of putting you inside the mind of a psycho. It also explores the moral dilemma of following the law or bending the rules to keep a killer locked up. DeSilva does an excellent job of showing both sides and hooked me from the get go. This book can be read as a standalone, but I recommend reading the other books in the series first. I am going to seek out the 4th book in the series and read ASAP.
May 16, 2014 rated it liked it
Anytime you have a book where a journalist is the hero, it's on my list. I liked this book and the characters on the journalism side. Showed some nice interaction between journalists and law enforcement and drew some fine lines between the two. Not crazy about the "family" that owned the newspaper, but I guess you need some broad characteristics at some point. Overall enjoyed the book, for 3.5 stars.
Mar 12, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mysteries
#3 in the Mulligan series, this is the best of the bunch, and I loved the first two. When a loophole in the law is going to let a sexual psychopath out of prison and the only way the authorities can keep him in is to fabricate charges against him, which side should journalism take? Mulligan and Mason start on opposite sides but find themselves meeting in the middle.
Oct 20, 2014 rated it really liked it
Loved this story, although it has some very violent and disturbing scenes. Since I have visited my sister near Providence many times, it is fun reading about all the references to the local places. Plus the author is just a really good writer! The characters, both recurring and non-recurring, are really interesting, and I look forward to installment #4.
Apr 21, 2014 rated it really liked it
This is the third novel by DeSilvia set in Rhode Island and following the exploits of Providence "Journal" reporter Liam Mulligan. I think it is his best yet. This one is a loosely based fictional version of the Craig Price murder case. Very suspenseful and keeps you on the edge of you seat at the end! Love all the RI landmarks and locations.
Sep 10, 2014 rated it really liked it
Thought I might not like initially as I hate books about psychopaths/serial killers. But, I scanned those 'yucky' parts, which were quite brief actually, and enjoyed the story. It was nice to read about locations that I actually knew where they were. So, Liam Mulligan is my "Harry Bosch" of Providence. (I hope this makes sense)?
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Goodreads Librari...: Please add to series 2 12 Mar 14, 2014 10:06AM  
  • The Fraud (Carter Ross, #6)
  • Shoveling Smoke
  • Better Living Through Plastic Explosives
  • Top of The Heap (Cool and Lamb #13)
  • Diamond Boy
  • Blood Pact (Kirk McGarvey, #17)
  • Rock Paper Tiger (Ellie McEnroe, #1)
  • The Cyclops Initiative (Jim Chapel, #3)
  • Sons of Sparta (Andreas Kaldis, #6)
  • Rage Is Back
  • A Killing Sky: A Frank Pavlicek Mystery
  • Gone Wild (Thorn, #4)
  • The Three-Nine Line (A Cordell Logan Mystery, #4)
  • The Facts of Life and Death
  • Doing the Devil's Work (Maureen Coughlin, #3)
  • Vanishing Trail: The Taking of Jonathan Bishop
  • Clawback (Silas Cade #1)
  • Free Spirit: Growing Up On the Road and Off the Grid
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
More about Bruce DeSilva...

Other Books in the Series

Liam Mulligan (5 books)
  • Rogue Island (Liam Mulligan, #1)
  • Cliff Walk (Liam Mulligan, #2)
  • A Scourge of Vipers (Liam Mulligan, #4)
  • The Dread Line: A Mulligan Novel