What You Break

What You Break

by Reed Farrel Coleman


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Former Suffolk County cop Gus Murphy returns to prowl the meaner streets of Long Island's darkest precincts, with a Russian mercenary at his back, in the stunning second installment of Reed Farrel Coleman's critically acclaimed series, now in paperback.

Gus Murphy and his girlfriend Magdalena are put in harm's way when Gus is caught up in the distant aftershocks of heinous crimes committed decades ago in Vietnam and Russia. Gus's ex-priest pal, Bill Kilkenny, introduces him to a wealthy businessman anxious to have someone look more deeply into the brutal murder of his granddaughter. Though the police already have the girl's murderer in custody, they have been unable to provide a reason for the killing. The businessman, Spears, offers big incentives if Gus can supply him with what the cops cannot—a motive.

Later that same day, Gus witnesses the execution of a man who has just met with his friend Slava. As Gus looks into the girl's murder and tries to protect Slava from the executioner's bullet, he must navigate a mine field populated by hostile cops, street gangs, and a Russian mercenary who will stop at nothing to do his master's bidding. But in trying to solve the girl's murder and save his friend, Gus may be opening a door into a past that was best left forgotten. Can he fix the damage done, or is it true that what you break you own...forever?

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780425283226
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 01/02/2018
Series: Gus Murphy Series , #2
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 368
Sales rank: 236,188
Product dimensions: 5.45(w) x 8.20(h) x 0.79(d)

About the Author

Reed Farrel Coleman, called "a hard-boiled poet" by NPR's Maureen Corrigan and the "noir poet laureate" in the Huffington Post, is the Edgar-nominated author of twenty-five novels and three novellas, including the critically acclaimed Moe Prager series. A three-time winner of the Shamus Award, he has also won the Anthony, Macavity, Barry, and Audie awards.

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Excerpted from "What You Break"
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Copyright © 2018 Reed Farrel Coleman.
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Customer Reviews

What You Break 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
SheTreadsSoftly More than 1 year ago
What You Break by Reed Farrel Coleman is a very highly recommended second detective novel featuring ex-cop Gus Murphy. Gus is still working as security for the Paragon Hotel in Suffolk County and part time courtesy driver to Long Island’s MacArthur Airport. Gus is asked by his friend Bill Kilkenny, an ex-priest, to meet with Micah Spears and take on an investigation into why Spears granddaughter, Linh Trang, was brutally murdered. The cops have the man who did it, suspect, Asesinos gang member Rondo Salazar, but no one knows why he did it and he's not talking. Spears offers Gus two big incentives to find out the answers: 2 large check, one to fund a youth sports association in John Jr.'s name, his late son, and another to fund research at Stony Brook University Hospital. At the same time it appears that his reticent friend who also works at the Paragon, Slava Podalak, is in trouble. A man with a Russian accent who appears to be on the run has arrived and he and Slava took off together. Gus followed, saw them pick up a third man, and go to his house. After Slava and the first man left, Gus saw the third man gunned down in front of his house. The cops are now questioning Gus when it's reported that his car was near the scene, but Gus doesn't give them any help while he's trying to protect Slava. But when a mysterious Russian hitman implies Maggie's (Gus's girlfriend) life is in danger if Gus doesn't provide him information, Gus needs to protect her too. Gus Murphy is a great character and I'm pleased to see him back in this second novel. Again, the writing is great, the plot is tight, and the action fast-pace. While I didn't like What You Break quite as much as the first Gus Murphy novel, Where It Hurts, we're talking 4.5 to 5, so I still liked it quite a bit. It is just as engrossing as the first and yes, I stayed up way too late to finish it. There are two great factors that make Coleman's Gus Murphy novels so appealing. The first is the character of Gus, who is flawed. He's broken, still hurting, and it seems that memories and emotional minefields are everywhere for him. Gus is smart, though, which leads to the second fact: they are well written and thoughtful. I like that we don't always know what Gus is thinking, that he plays his cards close to his chest. I would expect that of him and appreciate it in the character. When the cases eventually, unexpectedly collide, it is very clever. The end is a bit of a shocker, but it leads to some serious anticipation for the next Gus Murphy novel. You kind of want to tell Gus, "Be careful, Boy-o, with your heart and yourself." Disclosure: My review copy was courtesy of the Penguin Publishing Group.
tedfeit0 More than 1 year ago
Michael Connolly has Los Angeles, Ian Rankin Edinburgh, Laura Lippman Baltimore; the late Robert Parker Boston; Tim Hallinan Bangkok. Others write about localities they know. And Reed Farrel Coleman not only lives in Suffolk County, Long Island, New York, but takes us on a guided tour, in this novel featuring his somewhat flawed ex-cop Gus Murphy, still suffering after the death of his 20-year-old son, John Jr. Gus, divorced after the death blew up his marriage, lives and works at a second-rate motel, driving a van to and from MacArthur airport and a LIRR station, picking up and dropping off passengers to and from the Paragon and providing security services in exchange for a free room. The night bellman, Slava, who had once saved Gus’s life, is a close friend. When his friend’s past catches up with him and his life is threatened Gus is faced with a dilemma: sacrifice his friend or attempt to help him. Meanwhile, another of Gus’s friends, the ex-priest Bill Kilkenny, asks him to take on finding out why wealthy Miceh Spears’ granddaughter was murdered. The two plots move along simultaneously along the highways and byways stretching from Queens County and Brooklyn right across Long Island. Coleman even delves into the social and economic differences between various localities, with the Long Island Expressway sort of dividing north (white and wealthy) and south (for the most part poorer) and how enclaves protect the richer from others. The novel takes a penetrating look at Gus, his personality and psyche, his assets and flaws. A good read, the novel is recommended
Deb-Krenzer More than 1 year ago
This was the second book in the Gus Murphy series and while I didn't read the first book, I was able to read this one without a lot of questions. Although the death of his son and his divorce was a big question to which there were answers to in the first book. However, while it was mentioned a lot in this book, it did not take away from what was happening in this one. Gus, a retired Suffolk County police officer, is working for a slightly above average hotel as a van driver, security and bouncer for their night club. For this he gets a free room and some cash. In this book, his friend Slava, who works at the hotel also, hooks up with a man whom Gus has just driven from the airport. Gus has already determined that this man needs watching. Slava leaves with this man and Gus follows, witnesses an execution and hides Slava in his marital home where no one is currently living. He's not sure what is going on with Slava but isn't interest in getting more involved. Unfortunately, he's not given a choice. Meanwhile, Gus is called to his old friend's house, Bill, who used to be a clergyman in the church. He is asking Gus to do a job for his friend, Micah Spears. Micah wants to know why his daughter was murdered. They already have the killer, he just wants to know why and the killer isn't talking. Little does Gus know, but both of these cases puts him not only in hot water, but with a huge target on his back. This book was definitely entertaining and had me holding my breath a lot. The twists and turns, the road chases, the dangers around every corner, the threats against Gus, the threats against his girlfriend and the attacks on Gus were just a few things that kept my pulse racing. This was an excellent read and I am glad that I got the chance to do so. Huge thanks to Penguin Group Putnam for approving my request and to Net Galley for providing me with a free e-galley in exchange for an honest review.