By: William LeRoy
Publisher: Mossik Press
Publication Date: November 2014
Reviewed by: Anita Lock
Date: August 21, 2017
Tricksters, archenemies, and unveiled secrets abound as the plot thickens in author William LeRoy’s sequel to The Same Old Story.
It is Christmas 1998, nearly two months since the mysterious death of Johnny D’Agostino on Halloween night. The story opens with a televised news show reporting on an altercation that goes awry between people closely connected with JohnnyD. As a result, a person is supposedly dead, and Captain Patrick Riley arrests one of his men, Peter Angelo, charging him with the murder. Regardless of the arrest, Peter, who investigated JohnnyD’s case, is confident that Matt Finley—one of the people caught up in the mysterious love triangle with JohnnyD—is JohnnyD’s murderer. Further investigation into JohnnyD reveals that Johnny wasn’t a “he” as many believed, but a “she.” Even more noteworthy is the fact that Johnny is the niece of the notorious local gangster—as well as Riley’s longtime nemesis—Bruno Giordano.
But in the “new universe of virtual [or cyber] reality,” which seems to have been “created overnight,” JohnnyD is not the only person with a dual identity. Captain Riley determines to find out the truth about JohnnyD’s case. But the more he investigates, the more the facts become convoluted. It doesn’t help that it appears that “the devious head of Internal Affairs” is waging psychological warfare against him to undermine his standing as police chief. In fact, Riley feels as though he is “trapped in a boardwalk fun house at the beach, surrounded by chaotic reflections from warped mirrors.” It’s not until he studies the cryptic text messages leading up to JohnnyD’s death that Riley feels challenged to not only re-evaluate his stance on the case but also does a bit of introspection in the process. Amid all the confusion, more twists and turns ensue as the case draws to its outcome.
Readers who thought The Same Old Story was replete with multiple plot twists are in for a big surprise when they get started with LeRoy’s sequel, The Inside Story. LeRoy shifts gears from alternating viewpoints between Peter and Matt to take his audience through behind-the-scene situations connected to JohnnyD's case. A bit dizzying but fascinating, LeRoy's plot will keep readers hopping as he introduces a plethora of new and multifaceted characters, many of which are used as red herrings.
Over the course of three days beginning with Christmas 1998, LeRoy packs his story with seemingly out-of-the-blue people and accounts that tightly tie to JohnnyD's life. One would think that with additional clues, there would be more clarity to the mysterious case. Not necessarily so. With each new situation comes added confusion, especially when many of the new characters become shifty. That said, it is easy to throw them into the mix of possible murder suspects.
In the midst of plot perplexity, LeRoy jabs at religion (primarily the Catholic Church since there are plenty of Irish overtones), conservative religious views, politics, and sex. The latter continues with the nostalgic romance stories, operas, and movies from The Same Old Story with additional nuances. He also includes some Bostonian history connections with Irish immigrants. Of particular interest is the way LeRoy coincides dual identities with the advent of the Internet and chat rooms. In reality, the new form of communication provided many opportunities for people to disguise their true personalities.
Quill says: The Inside Story will keep mystery and melodrama aficionados hopping until the very end.