Format Hardcover
Publication Date 05/01/18
ISBN 9781681777955
Trim Size / Pages 9 x 6 in / 272

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The Lonely Witness

A Novel

William Boyle

When a young woman with a sordid past witnesses a murder, she finds herself fascinated by the killer and decides to track him down herself.

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, where Mrs. Epifanio, the elderly woman who lives there, says she hasn’t seen her usual caretaker, Diane, in a few days. Supposedly, Diane has the flu—or so Diane’s son Vincent said when he first dropped by and vanished into Mrs. E’s bedroom to do no-one-knows-what.

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 really going on with both him and his mother. She tails Vincent through Brooklyn, eventually following him and a mysterious man out of a local dive bar. At first, the men are only talking as they walk, but then, almost before Amy can register what has happened, Vincent is dead.

For reasons she can’t quite understand, Amy finds herself captivated by both the crime she witnessed and the murderer himself. She doesn’t call the cops to report what she’s seen. Instead, she collects the murder weapon from the sidewalk and soon finds herself on the trail of a killer.

Character-driven and evocative, The Lonely Witness brings Brooklyn to life in a way only a native can, and opens readers’ eyes to the harsh realities of crime and punishment on the city streets.

William Boyle is from Brooklyn, New York. His debut novel, Gravesend, was published as #1,000 in the Rivages/Noir collection in France, where it was shortlisted for the Prix Polar SNCF 2017 and nominated for the Grand Prix de Littérature Policière. Boyle is also the author of a book of short stories, Death Don’t Have No Mercy, and of another novel, Tout est Brisé, recently released in France by Gallmeister. He lives in Oxford, Mississippi.

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Endorsements & Reviews

The Lonely Witness is a map of Brooklyn’s genome. Amy Falconetti is that rarest of noir characters, a woman redeemed and a redeemer. Walking in her shoes for only a few blocks is worth the price of admission.” Reed Farrel Coleman New York Times bestselling author of 'What You Break'
“In true noir fashion, William Boyle gives us an intimate portrait of a neighborhood in vivid, evocative prose, and explores how place and the past make us who we are. The Lonely Witness moves with unstoppable momentum, powered by Amy Falconetti's impulsive human heart. I would gladly follow her anywhere.” Melissa Ginsburg, author of 'Sunset City'
“In The Lonely Witness, William Boyle has created a classic noir and a classic of Brooklyn. I loved this character, this world, and this book. Boyle has written a slim, unputdownable book that gets into every dark corner in the outskirts of Brooklyn, a world no one knows better. Gravesend and the rest of outer, unknown, still-mysterious Brooklyn shine in this compulsively readable thriller.” Sara Gran, author of 'Dope,' 'Come Closer,' 'Saturn's Return to New York,' and the Claire DeWitt series
“William Boyle’s Gravesend is a bruiser and a heartbreaker of a debut. With echoes of Lehane and Pelecanos but with a rhythm and poignancy all its own, it’s a gripping tale of family, revenge, the strains of the past and the losses that never leave us.” Megan Abbott, author of 'You Will Know Me' and 'The Fever' [praise for William Boyle's 'Gravesend']
Gravesend kicks ass! An irresistible combo of an insider’s tour of Brooklyn and true and authentic 21st Century Noir. Boyle is one to watch.” Ace Atkins, New York Times bestselling author of 'The Fallen and 'Robert B. Parker’s Little White Lies' [praise for William Boyle's 'Gravesend']