Amy was once a party girl, but she now lives a lonely life, helping the house-bound to receive communion in the Gravesend neighborhood of Brooklyn. She stops in at one of the apartments on her route and Mrs. Epifanio says her usual caretaker, Diane, has the flu—or so Diane’s son Vincent says.Amy’s brief interaction with Vincent in the apartment that day sets off warning bells, so she assures Mrs. E that she’ll find out what’s going on. She tails Vincent and a mysterious man through Brooklyn, but then, almost before Amy can register what has happened, Vincent is dead. And for reasons she can’t quite understand, Amy collects the murder weapon from the sidewalk and soon finds herself on the trail of a killer.
Years ago, Amy Falconetti, the heroine of Boyle's poignant second novel set in Brooklyn (after Gravesend), worked as a hard-partying bartender and dated an aspiring actress named Alessandra. Now in her mid-30s and alone, Amy is volunteering as a Eucharistic minister, bringing communion to elderly shut-ins who live in her neighborhood. Her boring life is suddenly turned upside down when she witnesses a murder. Complicating matters is the sudden return of Alessandra and her alcoholic father, who left her when she was a child. Amy, who believes the killer saw her and is now stalking her, must also deal with her still strong feelings toward Alessandra and her contempt for Alessandra's father, who desperately wants to make amends for his past bad behavior. In the chaos, Amy sees high-risk avenues to escape her dead-end life but is an unknown future better than living a safe shadow existence? Powered by brilliantly realized characters, a richly described and grittily realistic backdrop, and subtle yet powerful imagery, this is crime fiction at its best: immersive, intense, and darkly illuminating.