City of Margins by William Boyle

Brooklyn, 1991- Donnie is a cop living on the edge. He serves as hired muscle for a local hoodlum, quick with either fists or bat to strong arm recalcitrant debtors. His home life is in shambles, the suicide of his teenage son indirectly leading to the dissolution of his marriage. Drinking and his extralegal activities help salve the open wounds. His activities have become more brazen, one night roughing up and terrorizing one young man involved in a covert assignation with a younger woman, before going overboard and murdering a down on his luck gambler.

1993-Mikey Baldini is nearing 21 years of age….His life has assumed meandering qualities…Dropped out of college, living at home, pining over unattainable women. His overwhelmed Mother has assumed the debts of his deceased father, an untimely suicide. Mikey’s forlorn future seems assured, until he discovers a box of donated books at the local library. He finds a note that leads him to grieving mother and recently divorced Donna. Their worlds are altered when they meet, a spark ignites within both of them.

Nick is a 30 something in a state of arrested development. He lingers at home, despite having an attractive girlfriend who desires him. He is an English teacher, who quickly becomes obsessed with his Mother Ava’s new beau. Nick consumes himself with writing a screenplay based on the man, to the exclusion of other’s feelings and his responsibilities. The characters are on a chartered collision course that will change their lives forever.

“City of Margins” is the latest compelling release from William Boyle. The author’s skill in creating relatable characters in interlocking narratives grows with each book. The borough of Brooklyn remains as fascinating a backdrop for the denizens of the story to inhabit, blending in seamlessly. The reader embarks on a voyage to the not so distant past, sitting shotgun on a ride to depths unknown; a journey well worth its weight in gold. Another all out literary gut punch!

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