Someone is killing the best home-heating oil truck drivers on Long Island.
Five veteran truckers are already history, robbed and murdered, and there’s no reason to suppose the killing spree has crested. Joe Serpe and Bob Healy, co-owners of Mayday Fuel, are worried sick, but it’s the identity of the fourth victim that really pushes their buttons. Rusty Monaco was ex-NYPD. So were Serpe and Healy, though neither was at all fond of the deceased. Bigoted, violent and crooked, he was almost universally detested. One night on the job, however, Monaco happens to have saved Serpe’s life. For Serpe, the resulting imperative is clear and unavoidable: He has to go after Monaco’s killer. For Healy, any mission of Serpe’s is a mission of his partner’s. So the game’s afoot, and a tricky game it turns out to be, replete with red herrings and other fishy characters, and when it finally seems about to end, it doesn’t.
Serpe and Healy (Hose Monkey, 2006) form an engaging team that’s easy to root for. But Spinosa—a pseudonym for old pro Reed Farrell Coleman—lumbers them with a puzzle so mind-boggling that it outlasts both attention and empathy.