After eight long years, Kyle Nevin is finally out of prison. One of three men who basically controlled Boston before he wound up in prison the last eight years was hard. But, unlike others faced with long stretches of prison time, he never talked about anyone else. This South Boston Irish mobster kept silent about everyone which included his former boss Red Mahoney who set him up to take the fall. Red deserves special treatment and the plans for that allowed Kyle to stay strong no matter what prison he was in.


The welcome home is far different than he expected. The passing of the last eight years has had repercussions far and wide and nobody is what he or she was when he stepped inside. His brother Danny has fallen far economically and can’t go back to the Southie neighborhood as he made his own plea deal with restrictions for life. Danny has gone legit, much to Kyle’s disgust, and isn’t looking to go back to a life of crime. Ma is dead too and Kyle’s prison time and all the stress most likely caused that. His old girlfriend dumped him pretty quick after he went inside. Nobody messed with Kyle before he went in and got away with it. Now that he is back out, he intends to reassert control, get the money flowing again, and find Red Mahoney. He’s going to need some competent and silent help and that is easier said than done.


Heavily reminiscent of his earlier novel “Small Crimes” also released from Serpent Tail, this novel also follows a con and his return to civilization. Unlike the previous book where the con was trying to follow the straight and narrow path, Kyle Nevin is all about getting back in charge and living large. Being legit is never part of Kyle’s thinking. Revenge regarding Red Mahoney is the theme of the book from start to finish with Kyle trying various ways of accomplishing that ultimate task all the way through to the final twist at the end.  An end that seems both a surprise and yet obvious when one considers the entire work.


Along the way there is plenty of dark humor, violence, and social commentary about what it means to be a celebrity these days. This is especially true in terms of publishing and media hype in these days of celebrity no talent writers and their ghost writer counterparts. An unseemly side of publishing and yet such tomes prove to be one of the most popular with the book buying public.


A heavily atmospheric noir style novel much like “Small Crimes” the book takes you deep into the world of Boston and its suburbs.  Dave Zeltserman manages the rare feat of making a locale become a living breathing character. A locale often just as dark and twisted in its own way as the characters that populate it. In short, “Pariah” is another good book from Dave Zeltserman. Another good and depraved tale that is filled with plenty of atmosphere, dark individuals, and scathing social commentary all the way to the twisted and violent end. 



Dave Zeltserman

Serpent’s Tale

October, 2009

ISBN# 978-1846686436




Review copy provided by Meryl Zegarek in exchange for my objective review.


Kevin R. Tipple © 2009


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