Praise for The Whole Lie
"The Massachusetts gubernatorial race forms the backdrop for Ulfelder's excellent sequel to his Edgar-finalist debut, Purgatory Chasm… Readers will want to see more of Ulfelder's tough but vulnerable lead, whose narration offers a warts-and-all view of his multifaceted character." – Publishers Weekly, starred review
Savvy hadn't changed. She was smarter than you and didn't mind letting you know it. She'd whip you up and down trying to get her way. But we weren't lovers any more—and she'd stopped being a Barnburner long ago. Still…
Conway Sax, the no-nonsense auto mechanic with a knack for solving difficult problems for the Barnburners, the renegade AA group who saved his life, is back in The Whole Lie. And for once, he thinks normalcy is within reach. He's opening a new garage, and he's finally moved in with longtime girlfriend Charlene. The end of his parole is finally in sight. Then along comes Savannah Kane: smart, smoky, and a pusher of men's buttons. Seven years ago, Conway helped her disappear—but not before they had a sizzling, knock-down-drag-out affair. Now she's back with a shocking revelation: she's the mother of a six-year-old boy. Savvy claims her son's father is billionaire Bert Saginaw, but Conway (not to mention Charlene) knows she's back for more than just a family reunion.
Saginaw wants to be Lieutenant Governor of Massachusetts. Savvy wants to get paid. Conway wants nothing to do with either of them. But when Savvy turns up brutally murdered, he's got no choice but to sort lies from truth – even though doing so may cost him his freedom, his lover, and his life in this thrilling and heart-wrenching follow-up to critically acclaimed novel Purgatory Chasm, in the tradition of Robert B. Parker and Dennis Lehane.
Praise for Steve Ulfelder and Purgatory Chasm
"Ulfelder smoothly steers his plot from one hairpin twist to the next… Conway [is] both tough and vulnerable, a man who has made too many mistakes in his life and, unfortunately, will make even more. Purgatory Chasm is a superb beginning for an author who shows much promise." –South Florida Sun-Sentinel
"A refreshing new character solving hardcore crimes…. crisp plotting, hard-boiled style and realistic dialogue." —Associated Press
"Combines elements of the thriller with tales of tangled families. Violence runs through the novel, but Ulfelder tempers it with compassion — and evocative prose. Purgatory Chasm may be hardboiled, but it's heart-wrenching, too." –Richmond Times-Dispatch
"Working throughout is the edgy, self-effacing voice of a flawed main character, a good guy with plenty of baggage who's just trying stay alive and to get it right this time." –The Boston Globe
"Ulfelder couples precise, evocative prose with an original private investigator in his compelling hard-boiled debut…. Ulfelder smoothly navigates the many plot twists, and effortlessly introduces wrinkles in his protagonist's backstory that enhance the character." –Publishers Weekly, starred review
The Massachusetts gubernatorial race forms the backdrop for Ulfelder's excellent sequel to his Edgar-finalist debut, Purgatory Chasm (2011), which introduced recovering alcoholic Conway Sax, Framingham auto mechanic and part-time investigator. According to the polls, Betsy Tinker, a popular U.S. senator, should win in a landslide, but the politically ambitious Bert Saginaw, who's running for lieutenant governor with Tinker, has "a little John Edwards problem." Seven years earlier, Saginaw had a love child with Savvy Kane, a former flame of Sax's. Sax agrees to help fend off extortion threats aimed at driving Saginaw from the race, but at the cost of putting himself at odds with his current girlfriend, his boss at the auto body shop. Political cynicism reaches new lows as the election nears, and more than one major player doesn't survive. Readers will want to see more of Ulfelder's tough but vulnerable lead, whose narration offers a warts-and-all view of his multifaceted character.