By G.M. Ford
William Morrow - 2002
ISBN: 0380978741 - Hardcover
Mystery / Detective
for explicit language and violent content

Reviewed by Nancy Mehl for
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Frank Corso, a true crime writer in Seattle, is following the case of Nicholas Balagula, a mobster who finally cut one corner too many. A hospital in California has collapsed, killing 63 people-- 41 of them children. Balagula's sticky fingerprints are all over the tragedy, and Corso wants to see justice finally visited on this "Teflon Don." But the paths that lead back to Balagula are many - and unraveling them will take all the talent and courage Corso has. What does a truck found with a body that is riddled with bullets from three different guns have to do with a vicious attack on a former girlfriend, Meg Doughtery, that leaves her life hanging by a thread? And how do the bodies of two previous witnesses against Balagula that were found floating in the river connect to the disappearance of a man Meg interviewed before her car was forced into a devastating accident? What picture are all these seemingly unconnected pieces forming? Are they actually connected? And, can Corso find the truth before the mobster walks away from all the voices of pain and death that cry out for justice?

Frank Corso sees himself as a flawed human being. He is flawed more than some - but much more human than many. He is likable, without wanting you to like him - and appealing without trying to appeal to anyone except himself and his own conscience.

"Black River" is an edge-of-your seat thriller. The action never stops, and the plot moves quickly, pulling you along with it. This is a hard-boiled detective mystery with a heart. Frank Corso is someone I want to visit again; I cared about this case, and I cared about Corso.

I highly recommend "Black River".

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