Author: Stephen Larkin

Released: May 28, 2017

Genre: Suspense, Mystery, Crime

It’s 1930 and in Manhattan, the gangsters Legs Diamond and Lucky Luciano are fighting to increase their criminal empires, with some politicians looking to get a piece of the action. A young woman, seeking to escape the summer heat on a party boat is murdered, her body tossed overboard. The woman’s body is later washed ashore after a storm. Reading the news story of the dead girl, Detective Mike Callahan investigates, sadly finding that he knew the woman. Determined to find her killer, Callahan enlists the aid of their mutual friend, a prominent businesswoman. With his regular partner in the hospital, he is forced to work with the son of Thomas Shaw, the senior Senator of New York. The senator, not the man the public believes him to be, has connections with Legs Diamond. As the investigation proceeds, the senator and his son are forced to take actions which will influence the investigation, and the steps that Callahan must take to solve the mystery. Relentless in his pursuit of the killer, the case will drive Callahan towards an unexpected conclusion with the death of the young woman leading to more deaths, affecting all who knew her.

Stephen Larkin has been a lifelong resident of Long Island, NY and has been an avid reader of many literary genres since his teen years. Steve’s occupation, as a safety and risk control consultant for over 30 years involved extensive travel and non-fiction writing.  Retiring in 2018, he had begun writing novels about ten years ago, intending to publish them upon his retirement. 

In 2017, he published, The Kiss Off, a 1930’s murder mystery set in New York City.  Based upon the reception of The Kiss Off, he just released “Murder on Dog Island.” The story begins where the first story ended. Steve has been married to his wonderful wife, Gabriele since 1986 and they have two children​.

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Readying himself to visit the cottage, the German felt the usual excitement at the thought of being violent with a woman. Exiting the manor house, scanning the estate, he saw the pickup truck coming slowly up the driveway. Making eye contact with Benny as he drove past him, he gave no gesture of recognition to the man. Parking the truck in front of the cottage, Benny began to remove the supplies from the rear bed. After a couple of trips to the shed, he went into the cottage.

If you were new to the country and someone offered to take you under their wing, would you do anything to stay that way? What would their protection even look like? Would you ask questions? For Eileen Sullivan, Benny and Rita Fitzgibbons, hard work is everything and they’ll just about take anything. From the start, Larkin captivates his audience with death, mystery, and political corruption. What’s not to like about that?!

Being the eye candy of a prominent senator was all fun and games, until he started spilling his illegal activities to her during drunken spells. Now, being a meticulous record keeper, Eileen thinks that she can get away with bribing him into marriage. She would be set for life, but she knows that it is only a matter of time before it is over. She has been swimming in water with sharks for far too long. Eileen O’Sullivan’s body washes up on a beach full of vacationers and there are some pretty angry people looking for her murderer once they learn that the body is Eileen’s. Not only are the police out to find the murderer, but the Irish and Italian mobs may be involved too and they are all too eager for a blood bath.

Larkin brings likable characters to the table with this story. In the beginning, we get a sense of foreboding with someone stalking after a girl who has made her way onto a boat with her friend. Then a series of catastrophic events unfold. Everyone begins to have their own agenda invested into the murder of this woman, even though you know who the killer his throughout the entire story. It’s quite fascinating to be able to slowly unravel how everyone is connected throughout the read. The pace is steady and the story is action-packed, making it easy to get wrapped up in. The story is written well with little to no grammatical errors and the cover is quite alluring. Readers who like suspense, mystery, and crime may thoroughly enjoy this book.

An electronic copy was provided to Turning Another Page by Reedsy Discovery and in no way affects the honesty of this review. We provide a five-star rating for The Kiss Off by Stephen Larkin.