Brighton: Michael Harvey
Creating a new present is not easy but first you have to escape your past. Kevin Pearce and Bobby Scales are close friends each one looking out for the other. Living in a town called Brighton where the streets were filled with gangs, heavy violence and crime these two friends form a bond that will run its course over several decades. When Kevin’s grandmother is killed and is the one person that harbored him love and understood him, proud of his accomplishments and never faltering in her advice is found brutally killed something within him snaps. Violence and revenge take over and Kevin seeks out the killer and what happens next is earth shattering as Kevin is forced to leave at the age of 15 and 22 years later his life as a successful investigative reporter might come to an end.
The story unfolds in the present as Kevin meets an old friend Finn after many years, rehashes the past and then receives a request from his girlfriend. Dating a prosecutor she releases information about a murder to him that might link to his past the murder of the person he killed as a kid. Lisa is tough and wants Kevin’s help to uncover who killed a young woman forcing him to go back to the one place he never wanted to revisit: Brighton. Telling her that he won the Pulitzer Prize of investigative reporting based on the murder and then dealing with the series on a black man unfairly convicted for the murder of Rose Tallent, brings his life full circle after several decades. Working with his Prosecutor girlfriend he learns about another murder of an undercover cop and the evidence in this murder just might tie both murders together in a knot. Can you change your present by forgetting your past? Bobby is tough and is a bookie, dangerous and yet loyal to his friends. Kevin needs to find him and we learn more about the murder of his grandmother, his sister Bridget and his loyalty to Bobby. Is he involved? Will he be able uncover evidence to clear his friend? Brighton is a crime riddled town and the description of the town makes you think of a rundown area with people begging on the streets, poor housing, filth all around and all night bars. The links do not stop there as Kevin learns about the death of Sandra Patterson an undercover cop that was killed in the same manner as Rosie and then another death from a reporter friend that might be linked to the other two. A strangulation, a wire causing the death and a gunshot to the head all add up to a credible link but death of the person who killed his grandmother Curtis Jordan and the reason he won the Pulitzer Prize just might come crumbling down on him. The author flashes back to Bobby and what really happened that day and both Kevin and Bobby do not realize that someone is listening. Betrayals, lies and deceits have yet to be revealed as Kevin might face more than his past before having to decide between his friend and Lisa in the present.
What happens when you are wrongly accused and don’t want to fight back in normal ways? How far would you go? When Bobby and Kevin meet after 25 years it is a strained visit as Bobby would prefer that Kevin remain away and the evidence that comes to light just might ruin more than their friendship.
Another reporter hands him some new information which connects to his friend Bobby and the author shares what happens when drug dealers and those running the community are crossed as two young guys are found dead with their throats cut and Bobby is blindsided. Caught in a web of deceit and betrayal he has no choice but to take action but will this all lead to Curtis Jordan, Sandra Patterson and the two other women that were killed. Why does Kevin get a text from his sister Colleen to get out of Brighton?
Bobby is into more than just construction and when push comes to shove force seems to be his only way out as someone tries to take him out and the end result is not quite what either one expected.
When Kevin approaches Bobby again after taking a long look at the people still in Brighton and learning about what happened to others a harsh realization about what really happened in the past is about to come out as the murders of the Jessica, Callie, Curtis and Rosie link together but how? Flashbacks to the past help add to the story as Kevin remembers his baseball days, Bobby reflects on his time with Colleen and we learn more about Bridget and her bookkeeping system. Finn is searching for Bobby and yet looks to Bridget for comfort. Everyone is being used for something that would benefit them as Lisa creates the ultimate betrayal when Bobby and Kevin find their way to a place where something was hidden yet not found. As one relationship ends, an investigation moves ahead will Kevin stick around to help clear his friend when accused of the murders and will he stand trial too.
The events unfold and you get to know more about Bobby, his past and what drives him to take lives. Included the author flashes back to both Kevin and Bobby’s pasts, Bobby’s connection to the church and an interesting encounter with a priest. Bridget, Kevin’s sister is quite cunning and will Bobby learn just how cooked his books are? Colleen’s husband is a sleaze and will she finally realize she is better off without him. Weapons seem to be at a premium for most characters and Kevin learns some hard lessons about his friend Bobby, his girlfriend and trust. With more bodies turning up and more connections made just who is killing off so many people and why? Patterson, Rosie, Curtis, Chrissy and more are all victims of someone bent on clearing the streets of these people but why?
When Kevin finally realizes the truth and reads it in black and white he learns that Curtis Jordan was killed. He was a drug dealer who lived in Fidelis Way and was shot and killed in 1975 but Jessica Patterson the copy was killed with the same gun. Added in we learn the connection to Rosie Tallet and Christine Flannery. The killer even rationalizes Rosie Tallent who was tasked by James Harper looking into who was cutting into the drug trade in Fidelis and it was Harper who was convicted of her murder. Chrissy McNabb a grade-school classmate of the killer. Scott and Colleen Carson, Kevin’s sister and brother-in-law neither to be trusted and Finn McDermott caught in the crossfire by a killer who would stop at nothing to cover up the past and fade away in the present. Scott a wife cheater and Colleen too naïve to do anything about him until it was too late. A powerful ending as someone close to Kevin betrays him and the killer is revealed but just how many more lives will be lost and what will Kevin’s fate be as he fights for justice for Bobby, his life and the truth. Brighton: A town filled with hate, revenge, poverty and murder and one DA who will do anything for a promotion. Kevin Pearce: Pulitzer Prize Winner on paper only. Trust, truths, betrayals, surprises, revenge and a killer whose mind is so tainted that the killer believed the end would justify the past and the means. One great novel written by author Michael Harvey making you wonder: Can you ever escape your past? As you read the killer’s log or journal you decide!
Fran Lewis: Just reviews/MJ magazine