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This is a drop of US "Noir" about the life of a Boston barkeeper, "reformed" criminal Bob Saginowski, an apparently simple and lonely man who likes to keep out of sight and out of trouble. Even at daily Mass he doesn't connect with any of the regulars, and refuses to take Communion.
One day Bob's simple personal life ends when he finds a battered puppy left for death in a dumpster and meets Nadia Dunn, another loner, who shows him how to care of the puppy. The relationship between these two damaged people and their love for the dog was probably the best part of the book for me. Things get difficult when Eric Deeds, a criminal psychopath, claims the dog is his and Bob takes a stand to keep the pup.
Bob works for in Cousin Marv's bar, now controlled by the Chechen mafia who are using the bar as a random money drop for their criminal gambling and prostitution activities. Things start to go bad when the bar is robbed of $5,000 after hours. The real problem is that the Chechen boss is going to want that money back.
I really couldn't connect to the characters and the settings, probably because I am an Aussie and it is outside my familarity/comfort zone. This story was first released as a short story "Animal Rescue," in an anthology "Boston Noir", which was adapted to become a screenplay for a movie - which I won't be rushing out to see.