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Posts Tagged ‘Whitey Bulger’

AMONG THIEVES by David Hosp: Book Review

Among Thieves is my third David Hosp mystery this year, which certainly proves his books are great reads.

Scott Finn is the protagonist in this series.  In the first book, Dark Harbor, Finn is an associate in a huge law firm in Boston, working practically 24/7 in his bid to become a partner.  In Among Thieves, the fourth in the series, he’s a successful attorney in private practice with a recent law school graduate, Lissa Krantz, and a former police detective, Tom Kozlowski, on his payroll.

Finn has an interesting background.  An orphan, he was in the foster care system growing up, and he ran with a criminal crowd in Southie, the Irish section of Boston.  That’s the lead-in to Among Thieves, in which a man Finn knows from childhood contacts him from jail to represent him.  Although Devon Malley has served time in prison for robbery, he’s never been a killer or a top man in the mob, and Finn takes the case.

In doing so, he also takes on Devon’s teenage daughter Sally who was dropped on Devon’s doorstep a year ago by her drug-addicted mother.  While Finn may be ready to deal with the robbery charges against Devon, he’s not quite sure about the child care.  But, having gone through the foster care system himself, he’s determined to keep Sally out of it.

The background of the story is Devon’s involvement with Whitey Bulger, former boss of Boston’s Winter Hill Gang.  Bulger, who in real life has been on the run for more than 15 years, was a major crime figure in Boston and was protected by FBI agents in that city without the knowledge of the Boston police department or the Massachusetts state police.  He is still on the FBI’s Most Wanted list,  charged with 19 murders as well as various other crimes.

Again, in real life, the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston was robbed in 1990, with 13 works of art stolen; they have never been recovered.  So what’s the connection between a recent spate of murders in the city (seven in number), a small-time thief in Boston, and a murderer from Ireland who has never given up the cause of the IRA?

Hosp’s numerous characters are real and vibrant.  In Among Thieves, the offbeat romance of Finn’s staff members/friends, Lissa and Tom, continues and deepens.  Devon Malley is shown as a man out of his depth, always looking for the big score but doomed to a life of financially unrewarding crime, who finally has one good thing in his life, his newly-discovered daughter.  And Sally Malley (she says her mother always had an unusual sense of humor) is a strong girl who has learned the hard way that no one can be relied on or trusted.

Hosp’s sense of place is excellent too.  He knows his way around Boston, much as Robert B. Parker did, but his novels are grittier and Finn is a lawyer, not a private eye like Spencer.  Finn would rather be writing briefs and appearing in court than dealing with a brutal murderer, but he has taken a stand to defend Devon and does it.   Among Thieves is a strong novel in an excellent series.

You can read more about David Hosp at his web site.