Jack might be a polished, Harvard-educated lawyer on paper, but everyone in the down-at-the-heels, if picturesque, village of Onset, Massachusetts, knows his real job: moving people on the run from powerful enemies. The family business is smooth sailing, as they fill up Onset's holiday homes during the town's long, drowsy off-season and help clients shed their identities in preparation for fresh starts. But when Elena, Jack's former flame makes an unexpected return to town, her arrival upends Jack's routine existence.
If you, like me, lament the absence in modern-day Hollywood of the whip-smart neo-noir thrillers that flourished in the 1990s...then I have great news for you. It comes in the form of Dwyer Murphy’s second novel, The Stolen Coast, which offers all the abundant pleasures of those films, and more. Of course, many of those movies, like After Dark, My Sweet and Out of Sight, were themselves based on classic noir novels, and Murphy’s follow-up to his strong debut, An Honest Living, makes a convincing case for inclusion on that shelf. It’s a twisty, enthralling heist yarn, sure, but what strikes you most is the confidence ... The significant delights in “The Stolen Coast” lie not so much in how it all unfolds or unravels but in the dance between this intoxicating pair: their sly words, their weighted glances and their worthless promises.
Dwyer Murphy's novel, The Stolen Coast would make a perfect noir, especially if Golden Age idols Robert Mitchum and Jane Greer could be resurrected to play the leads ... Murphy has the lonely saxophone notes of noir down cold in his writing.
Murphy seamlessly moves The Stolen Coast into a solid plot about con games, heists and disappearances ... His breezy style keeps The Stolen Coast churning, adding levity when the plot turns dark while serving the labyrinth story. Murphy’s elegant plotting, established in his 2022 debut An Honest Living, shows he is an author to watch.