Beyond the Bridge-Tom MacDonald

Beyond the Bridge
Tom MacDonald
Oceanview, Aug 6 2013, $26.95
ISBN 9781608090907

In Dorchester, someone crucified accused pedophile Father Axholm. A week later, another accused pedophile Father Barboza was nailed to a pier on the Boston side of the Charles. The Archdiocese struggles with the media frenzy; while the press relishes covering the avenging killer.

Barboza’s brother, mute and deaf Blackie arrives at Saint Jude Thaddeus Parish in Charlestown to ask alcoholic Dermot Sparhawk, who runs a food pantry there, to find his brother’s killer and prove his sibling was not a child molester. Sparhawk says the police investigate the homicides and he has no experience whatsoever; but Blackie insists money talks to cops. He prefers the ex-Boston College football player make inquiries. When two more priests die, a reluctant Sparhawk starts his probe.

The prequel to The Charlestown Connection is an engaging amateur sleuth as the protagonist stumbles and fumbles his first case but keeps on charging ahead. Fast-paced, readers will appreciate Sparhawk putting together his offensive line consisting of his Micmac cousin Harraseeket Kid and his paraplegic former BC mate Buck Louis, but not accept insiders joining the rookie’s squad. Still fans will appreciate Sparhawk’s tour of Boston as he searches for a serial executioner killing priests named as pedophiles.

Harriet Klausner

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