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Reviewed by Sherri Fulmer Moorer for Readers' Favorite
When Danny returns to New York for a friend's engagement party, he also returns to ghosts of his past. For five years he's been hiding in Florida and from that fateful August night five years ago when his friend, Timmy, drowned during a stupid dare. He and his fellow "Renegades" friends made a pact that night never to speak of it again and to fight their demons on their own ... until Timmy's brother, a detective with the NYPD, decides to reopen the case. Although the drowning was ruled a murder, there's still suspicion that all isn't what it seems, especially since Julianna, another member of the Renegades, disappeared that same night. Everybody assumed she drowned, until a homeless man steps forward and claims that there was more to Timmy's drowning and Julianna's disappearance than it seems. A spiral of suspicion soon winds around drugs, sex crimes, and the seedier parts of town.
I enjoyed this novel because nothing is what it seems, and it's largely because of the characters' perceptions of reality. Every surviving member of the Renegades is wracked with guilt over Timmy's murder, and they're frozen in that guilt over confusion about who Timmy was and their part in his death. There was always something "off" about Timmy, and nobody could put their finger on how he was in their group, and yet seemed to remain outside of things. Tommy, Timmy's brother, is also an interesting character with internal conflicts over pursuing justice as an undercover detective, and finding retribution for his brother's death. This compelling web of complex situations and characters adds to a fiction story that could parallel reality in so many ways. An excellent and exciting read! The Bronx Kill by Philip Cioffari is a suspense novel that will keep you guessing until the final scene.