"The book has a noir feeling to it, and yet, at the same time, it's current and fresh and new. At times I almost expected to have a character like Kasper Gutman say "We'll talk, if you like. I'll tell you right out, I am a man who likes talking to a man who likes to talk." And if one of the characters did, nothing would have pleased me more; however, Bruce DeSilva did better than that. He managed to capture the flavor and feel of some of the old time greats while keeping readers firmly entrenched in the here and now of wonderfully ethnic Providence. He made Providence come alive, complete with its old neighborhoods filled with people set in their old ways. What a breath of fresh air! Nothing stale about this novel. Even when it seemed as if I'd seen or heard something before, I realized it was because DeSilva was writing about real things (like the decline of the newspapers), so yes, I had seen them before, in the real world.
His characters are wonderful, and slimy, and hateful, and mean, and jealous, and loving. All of those magnificent traits that we share as humans. Not once did I feel as if he'd plucked a character from another novel and put them in here to fill a slot. Each one was meticulously, and lovingly, crafted to fill the role the author had in mind for them. That's what makes this book so fun to read. The characters are real. Alive. We know these people. It's one of the many things that kept me turning pages.
I tend to gravitate toward books light on description. Yet, in Rogue Island, DeSilva did such a remarkable job of weaving description into plot that I got the full benefit without realizing it. He has an uncanny ability as a writer to know just when to pull the plug and move on to something else, leaving the reader satisfied with what he created. And there is just enough humor spread throughout the book to keep a smile on my face.
This was a great read. It looks like DeSilva's got himself a new job now. And "that's the stuff that dreams are made of.""