Gravesend by William Boyle

March 16, 2019

Gravesend , Brooklyn, a depressing neighbourhood that feels like small town America . A couple of depressing bars, shops, a Catholic Church, everyone knows everyone and everyone’s business.

Told by 4 main characters, its a tale of revenge, of upset, of regret and human attrition, it’s a sad tale, a dark gloomy story.

Alessandra Biagini , Failed actress returns to her old town of Gravesend, years after leaving to become a superstar actress in LA, her mother has died , her Father needs looking after and the dream in LA has failed miserably, she’s now at a crossroads, no job, no prospects and a town still how she left it, maybe worse. She hits the bottle ..what else is there to do?

Conway D’innocenzio, angry young man, working a dead end job, hung up on his brothers death 16 years previous, caused by Ray Boy Calebrese, recently released from Prison for his part in the killing . Swearing to revenge Ray Boy, Conway can’t carry it out , doesn’t have it in him to be a killer, this itself sets alight a chain of unforgettable events.

Ray Boy, back, changed, different, he appears remorseful, his old friends trying to drag him back into the old bad habits.he wants nothing to do with them,or anyone.

Eugene, Ray Boy’s nephew, appears to be going down the path Ray did, wannabe gangster, out of control and looking for trouble.

Each character tells his or her tale as the story escalates, Conway becoming increasingly erratic, Alessandra lost completely, Ray Boy just wants everything to end and Eugene spirals into worse and worse crime... all building to the tense finale where all of the stories meet in a violently sad end.

It’s literary urban Noir, it’s super cool but also very dark in places , and quite upsetting , the writing is almost poetic at times.

it’s a slow paced book, it’s very character driven and the plot takes more of a backseat as each character is fleshed out; this is more them telling their story than a plot driven crime procedural.

It’s a good book and I will look out for other works by the same author in future

3.5 ⭐️

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