Rogue Island reviewed by fran lewis




Rogue Island

Author Bruce De Silva


The sirens are sounding, the firefighters are geared up and the energy is rising as firefighters in Mount Hope, Providence Rhode Island rush to put out a soaring inferno before it decimates an entire structure on fire and takes lives. As the heat continues to rise, the temperature soars and flames decorate the sky with black smoke engulfing both firefighters and the buildings despair sets in as the inevitable is about to happen and there is much more to come. It is not the sound of music, boom boxes or car stereos blasting that interrupt your night’s sleep, the constant cries of the sirens, the blaring sound of horns and the screams of pain and fear as victims are hurled from the fires and the smell of decay, burnt flesh fills the nostrils of those trying to safe lives and those trying to survive.



Mount Hope, Providence Rhode Island is the prime target for decimation and destruction by fire. One rogue arsonist whose goal it is to create enough carnage, destruction of property in Mount Hope leaving little in its wake. Streets are filled with crime; families who are poor and have little, corruption and poverty are about to lose even more. Life is precious and property valuable to those who live here, but the arsonist, whose agenda is quite different, property and lives are expendable. Displacing families even less.   Why would deliberately set fire to the stores, offices and homes of the people living there? What is the attraction and what is the gain?



Liam Mulligan is an investigative reporter who has lived in Mount Hope all of this life. Angered that someone is burning down his childhood neighborhood, destroying his memories and killing many of his friends and neighbors, he goes on a one-man vigilante hunt to seek justice. As dangerous as the flames that soar up into the sky are the many obstacles he will face before all is said and done. It will take a great amount of dealing, conniving, hard work, investigative reporting and compromising his ethics and more to get the bottom of where, why and how these horrific fires started and who is behind them.  Crass, brash, hardnosed he crosses many lines, breaks rules, and goes against ethical practices to hunt down those behind the decimation of his childhood neighborhood. The familiar sound on his police radio reporting a Code Red will send him out into the cold night taking pictures, asking questions and trying to put together the burnt pieces of information to form an entire picture that might be smoke free.



Relentless, persistent, overbearing, downright tenacious, Mulligan overcomes many roadblocks, hindrances, personal attacks, lies and betrayals to pursue the arsonist and undercover the stark truths behind who is setting the fires and why. Who is on his side and who are his enemies that are hoping to escape before the last ash and embers of their final fires are extinguished you won’t believe.



With the photos taken by Gloria a photographer at his paper, Mulligan uncovers two people present at many of the fires. One he dubs, Mr. Rapture for the adoring way he stares at the fires totally enthralled with the flames and the way the orange glow lights up the sky. Some people get carried away by the overwhelming sight of the flames, the smoke, the orange, red and yellow stream of colors that light up the sky and the become so enthralled is as if they are one in the same with the fire.  But, is he the one? The other man is a retired firefighter who misses the action and has no alibi for his whereabouts. Which one is guilty or is it someone else?


Fires are flaring up and the victim count rises as Mulligan delves deeper into the investigation. The police, firefighters and Veronica Tang cannot seem to uncover who is striking the match and igniting the flames. Is the culprit hiding in plain sight or just so clever, elusive and smart that he will not be caught? How does this arsonist know just where to strike? What will be the final pay off? What is the real motive behind the fires and who stands to gain?



Capturing the reader’s attention from page one author Bruce De Silva sets the stage for with a cast of well defined characters and one relentless investigative reporter who will stop at nothing, break every rule and cross the boundaries of what is ethically right or not, just to catch the arsonist. Will his own flames scorch him or will he come out as free as a burning inferno whose power has no end in sight and whose destruction will be infinite?


Sparks ignite, buildings are doused with gasoline in basements in many structures as this lone rogue arsonist carries out his plot to destroy the Mount Hope Community in Providence Rhode Island. Author Bruce De Silva’s novel is hotter than the largest inferno set by this arsonist and will keep the reader’s interest on full blast until the very end. But, who is behind these fires only the author and this review knows, and will never reveal.


Veronica Tang, the courthouse reporter, has her own way of persuading people to divulge the information she needs for her articles. What part she plays you will have to learn for yourself as she manages to stay close to Liam. Added to the mix is a funny human-interest story that Mulligan tries to avoid reporting about a dog that lost his way and somehow found his way home under unusual circumstances. The truth behind this event will make you laugh, endear you to Mulligan and enlighten you about the inner workings of newspaper and television reporting.


How far will Mulligan go to get the answers he needs? What risks does he take and what will be the final outcome? Hell Night! Five fires simultaneously set using an accelerant to start them. Threats against Mulligan’s life, Gloria, the paper’s photographer severely beaten as the investigation takes on another direction when Mulligan and insurance investigator McCracken uncover some interesting information and a possible link that might lead them to finding out who is behind the fires, why and much more. Could it be that the joy of setting them is seeing his handiwork in the paper, watching it on the news or just viewing the fires as the happen. But no one could be at fire fires at once.



Vigilante justice is not uncommon and many communities take things into their own hands when they feel the police are inept and those in charge are really going through the motions but at a backwards pace. Mulligan has many friends and he is not alone in his quest for justice. There are many criminal figures, mafia bosses and others that take matters into their own hands including a group of men hired by one mafia boss to go out and scouts the area carrying bats. Called the DiMaggios they wrongly attack one man but are later praised for their efforts and enlisted to assist the police in their hopes to catch this arsonist.



With the aide of Mason, his cub reporter and his own investigative skills Mulligan uncovers the truth behind the fires only to be considered a person of interest. The investigation takes a violent turn as Mulligan is attacked, a friend is fatally injured and many other lives are lost as more fires flare up and the death count mounts. Who is behind the fires and how are they going to be rewarded for their efforts you will have to read for yourself. Will they catch the arsonist, will those involved pay for their crimes, and will the author bring back our rogue reporter in his next novel? Justice has a way of rearing his gavel in many different ways. Right or wrong does not always matter depending on which side you are.


Hotter than a roaring blazing, flaming, destructive fire that consumes a building in one blast, Rogue Island will kindle, ignite, set aflame and consume the reader in a novel that is so hot, so charged with excitement you will not want to turn the last page and read the last word. Mount Hope, Providence Rhode Island was originally called Rogue Island. Inhabited by smugglers, heretics, cutthroats and more, not too much different than the Mount Hope where Mulligan lives today. The story is not over, the cast of characters still have some unfinished business and Mulligan must come to grips with the lies, deceit and the many lost lives and tragedies that he personally felt. The police and the fire chief and many others will learn what happens when the truth comes out and Mount Hope, Providence Rhode Island settles down and braces for what might come next. An ending that is hotter than a fiery blaze and twists and turns that will keep you guessing until the very end, author Bruce De Silva’s first novel is truly far above the rest. Writing equal to that of Connelly, Coben and Berry, Bruce De Silva sets a really high bar for others to follow.


I never give stars for novels that I really think are exemplary:

I give this novel: Five Colibri’s: Be careful before you light it Up!


Fran Lewis: Reviewer








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