Liar's Dice by Gabriel Valjan
Book #4: A Shane Cleary Mystery Series
Publisher: Level Best Books
Publication Date: March 14, 2023
Format: Paperback - 246 pages
Kindle - 1716 KB
Nook - 1 MB
Genre: Mystery / Historical Crime Fiction / PI Mystery / Noir Fiction
Buy The Book:
Buy The Series: A Shane Cleary Mystery Series
Book 1: Dirty Old Town
Book 2: Symphony Road
Book 3: Hush Hush
Book 4: Liar's Dice
Disclaimer: I received a copy of the book from the author / publisher via NetGalley in exchange for my honest review and participation in a virtual book tour event hosted by Partners In Crime Book Tours.
Boston might be white with snow, but there’s nothing but a winter’s darkness for Shane Cleary, a former cop, veteran, and reluctant PI. There’s an international war within the mafia over drugs, and he has been asked to find the nephew of the local crime boss. When federal agencies descend on the city and order the police department to stand down on a homicide, the BPD reaches out to Shane for answers.
Shane’s past in Vietnam comes to haunt him when the corpse of a veteran is found on Boston Common, frozen to death in front of the State House. Then, a former army buddy comes to town looking for justice. His presence endangers all that Shane holds dear.
Shane must come to terms with a side of himself he thought he had left behind. The mounting body count and circumstances compel him to play a game of Liar’s Dice. Can he deceive and detect deception around him? Protect those he loves, while he solves the cases?
Praise for Liar’s Dice:
“Gabriel Valjan writes like a poet but his PI Shane Cleary packs a wallop worthy of Mickey Spillane.” -
Clea Simon, Boston Globe bestselling author of Hold Me Down
“Gabriel Valjan is the godfather of organized crime fiction and Liar's Dice is all the proof you need.” - James L’Etoile, author of the Detective Nathan Parker series
“Gritty, smart, sharply written, Valjan’s Liar’s Dice is a welcome addition to the canon of fine PI fiction.” - Reed Farrel Coleman, New York Times bestselling author of Sleepless City
“A fast-paced mystery that kept me flipping the pages, needing to find out what would happen next. Shane Cleary is a complex, brilliantly written protagonist. A terrific read.” - Hannah Mary McKinnon, internationally bestselling author of Never Coming Home
“Warning: Pick up a copy, turn the page, and you’ll be hooked. Liar’s Dice ticks the boxes: an interesting tale that’s economical and tight, descriptions that are full and rich, dialogue that’s real, and characters that spring to life. Gabriel Valjan just has a way of making every word count.” - Dietrich Kalteis, winner of the 2022 Crime Writers of Canada Award of Excellence for best novel
“Gabriel Valjan crafts a vivid portrait of 1970s Boston to life in Liar's Dice. Shane Cleary deserves to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with the city’s other famous PIs—a haunted but compassionate character who cuts through a swath of Mob crime with Valjan’s trademark wit and style.” - James D.F. Hannah, Shamus-winning author of Behind The Wall Of Sleep and She Talks To Angels
As much an intricately plotted mystery as a deep exploration of the dark side of Boston in the 1970s, this latest installment of the critically-acclaimed Shane Cleary series takes an unflinching view of the once powerful Boston mafia, while Shane deals with the aftermath of his time in Vietnam. Richly drawn characterization and a well-plotted mystery will have you eagerly awaiting what comes next in this enticing series! - Edwin Hill, author of The Secrets We Share
My Book Review:
Gabriel Valjan writes historical crime fiction. He is the recipient of the Macavity Award for Best Short Story and he has been listed for the Bridport and Fish Prizes, the Agatha, Anthony, Derringer, and Silver Falchion Awards. He lives in Boston’s South End and answers to a tuxedo cat named Munchkin.
In Liar's Dice, book four in the Shane Cleary Mystery Series, author Gabriel Valjan takes the reader back to 1970s Boston to follow the latest investigative case of ex-Boston cop turned PI Shane Cleary.
In this installment of the series, Shane is asked to find Sal, the nephew of Mr.B., the mob boss of Boston's Italian North End. There is an undercurrent of a potential territory feud that has it's sights on Boston, and Mr.B. isn't pleased with this development, especially when it involves bringing distrbution of cocaine into the city by the Canadian mob, the Boston Irish Southie Winter Hill Gang, and the NY five families. And if that isn't enough, Jimmy Hoban, a Vietnam veteran and advocate for veterans, the mentally ill, and the homeless, has been found frozen on the street, which draws Shane's attention since he is also an Army Vietnam veteran. And to make matters worse, tension in the city increases when three Boston Police Officers are shot dead, and the Feds show up. Shane has a lot on his plate, but it just gets more intense when an old Vietnam Army buddy shows up, and Shane's memories of Vietnam surface when his buddy Hunter is in town on a personal mission. Shane gets caught up in a dangerous game of Liar's Dice, a game of guesses, bluffs, and deception. Can Shane put the pieces of the puzzle together, and solve the interwining cases that are wrecking havoc in Boston?
Liar's Dice is a riveting crime story that easily draws the reader in from the start. The author provides the reader with a fascinating and richly detailed crime thriller set in 1970s Boston. Told in the first person narrative by Shane, this gritty noir story has enough drama, secrets, deception, tension, greed, murder, and surprising twists and turns that keeps the reader guessing if Shane will be able to uncover enough evidence to solve the various cases that are plaguing Boston. Shane deals with hostility from his ex-police brethren, crooked cops, mobsters, and wealthy individuals who try to hinder his every move. Trouble always seem to find Shane, it's the hazard of his job and it comes with the territory, but it doesn't deter him from finding the truth.
This suspenseful storyline is about intertwining cases that Shane slowly puts the pieces of the puzzle together, uncovering the underlying mafia tension, drug deals, and corruption in Boston that will keep the reader guessing. With an intriguing cast of characters, a great description of Boston and the throwback to the 1970s decade, and flashbacks to Shane's military past, Liar's Dice takes the reader on one heck of a thrilling rollercoaster ride!
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