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Longleaf Select University Press Titles Spring/Summer 2021

Rockaway Blue
A Novel
By (author): Larry Kirwan
Larry Kirwan


Three Hills



Product Form:


Form detail:

Paper over boards
Hardcover , Paper over boards


General Trade : Age (years) 18
Mar 15, 2021
$37.95 CAD


9.4in x 6.6 x 1.5 in | 460 gr

Page Count:

264 pages
Cornell University Press
Three Hills
FICTION / Mystery & Detective / Police Procedural
Crime and mystery: police procedural|History of the Americas

When terrorists attacked on September 11, 2001, Lieutenant Brian Murphy rescued seven people from the World Trade Center. Even as steel girders buckled and groaned, Brian rushed back up the stairs of the North Tower in search of those in need. He died a hero, one of more than four hundred police officers, firefighters, and other first responders who perished that fateful day.

Three years later, Vietnam veteran and retired NYPD detective-sergeant Jimmy Murphy is on a mission to find the truth behind his son's death. Why was Brian in the tower that morning? Had he anticipated the attack? Suspecting a cover-up of a deeper truth, Jimmy must confront his family, friends, and old colleagues in the police department to discover what happened to Brian and who his eldest son really was.

Murphy's investigation takes him from his home turf in the Irish American enclave of Rockaway Beach to Muslim Atlantic Avenue and beyond in order to find his own truth about 9/11. Dry-eyed and determined, Murphy battles barstool patriotism, the NYPD blue wall of silence, and a ticking clock?all the while haunted by his own secrets and the raw memory of his difficult relationship with his dead son.

Written by author and musician Larry Kirwan, Rockaway Blue is a thrilling and poignant story of a family struggling to pull itself together after an unthinkable trauma.

Larry Kirwan was the leader of New York-based Irish political rock band Black 47 for 25 years. He is author of five previous books, including, Liverpool Fantasy, Rockin' The Bronx, and Green Suede Shoes, and seventeen plays and musicals, including Paradise Square which will open on Broadway in 2022. He is currently working on a stage version of The Informer. Kirwan also hosts Celtic Crush a popular radio show on Sirius/XM and writes a column for The Irish Echo.

Rockaway Blue is a big, fiery, Irish-American masterpiece?a spellbinding story with characters that come to life with every turn of the page.

- Eoin Colfer, author of Artemis Fowl

Rockaway Blue blends the elements of a fast-paced detective story with a sweeping family drama, and the result feels both poignant and authentic.

- Mary Beth Keane, author of Ask Again, Yes

Poet, raconteur, novelist, rock star: Larry Kirwan is a man designed to bridge our times. If anyone can bring the disciplines together, and make sense of this stew of human experience, it is Kirwan in Rockaway Blue.

- Colum McCann, author of Let The Great World Spin

This eloquent memoir establishes Larry Kirwan as the premier voice of the Irish in the New York region, and tells its tale with dramatic tension, humour and elegance.

- Thomas Keneally, author of Schindler's Ark

A powerful tale of loss and redemption! Rockaway Blue delivers the real New York: the one I grew up in; the one that had no choice but to pick up the pieces and carry on in the aftermath of 9/11.

- Bobby Moresco, Academy Award Screenwriter for Crash

Larry Kirwan has written a ballsy, post-9/11 novel like only a New Yorker could. Kirwan punches through the romanticized courage of that awful September day, and finds a gritty, unapologetic voice of truth. This is a rare glimpse into Rockaway, and what the New York Irish suffered in the making of their heroes.

- Jeanine Cummins, author of American Dirt

Rockaway Blue is involving, thoughtful and totally entertaining.

- Dan Aquilante, New York Post

When Larry Kirwan sets out on an artistic mission there is no stopping halfway. Rockaway Blue is a must read for New Yorkers and all those fascinated by the life of this amazing city.

- Malachy McCourt, author of A Monk Swimming

Larry Kirwan's sweeping novel, "Rockaway Blue," is a defiant and celebratory tour of Irish-American life in the town best known for the long-gone amusement park and the Ramones' 1970s siren song that gleefully beckons: "we can hitch a ride to Rock, Rock, Rockaway Beach."

- Echo Book Review

Rockaway Blue is a well-told, emotional journey... Rockaway Blue is a great read, Highly Recommended, and a Top Shelf Selection.

- Ohio Irish American News

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