"In the next fifteen seconds, approximately a hundred rounds were fired, according to the official police estimate," the author read, in a gravelly baritone. "One slug grazed Joseph's thigh. Another ricocheted off a metal post and tore a ragged hole through the impressive rump of a stripper named Jezebelle."

The library was locking doors and shutting off lights by the time the assembled had their books signed. Outside, the sun had fallen out of view, but Empire Street was lit by powerful spotlights. A few hours earlier, Governor Chafee had announced that video game company 38 Studios, which had benefitted from a controversial $75 million loan guarantee from Rhode Island taxpayers, had laid off all of its employees.

An armada of TV news trucks circled 38 Studios' offices, their satellite dishes ready to beam the latest details. One reporter tapped away at a blinking console of dials and screens inside the truck. Another stood sentry at the entrance of the building's parking garage, stopping the driver of a silver sedan — jobless now — to ask a question about his mortgage.

DeSilva said it's not the kind of scene he would have snooped around in his reporting days. One of the happiest moments of his 40-year career in journalism came in the Canadian wilderness while investigating pollution by a local power company. "I was in a canoe with two Cree Indians in Hudson Bay and I knew there was not another journalist for hundreds of miles," he said.

But Mulligan might have found the scent of scandal too strong to resist. "He always suspects somebody is on the take," DeSilva said. "It's kind of his job to think that way." It would be a tough assignment for Mulligan, though, who draped a Schilling jersey over his father's grave after the 2004 World Series.

< prev  1  |  2  | 
  Topics: This Just In , Providence Journal, Ace Atkins, Cliff Walk
| More

Most Popular
Share this entry with Delicious
  •   WELCOME TO WOONSTERLY!  |  July 23, 2014
    The first thing you need to know about summer visits to Woonsocket and Westerly is that you don’t need a passport to get to either town.
  •   LOOK AT THAT!  |  July 23, 2014
    It’s been a good summer for public spaces in Providence.
  •   AT LAST, PROVIDENCE GETS A FRINGE  |  July 16, 2014
    What is a Fringe, and other questions answered.
  •   THE FOOD LIFE  |  July 09, 2014
    How to build a menu, the importance of texture, and much more.
  •   BUDDY'S BACK: A READER'S DIGEST  |  July 02, 2014
    There’s no disputing the fact that Providence — and all of Rhode Island, for that matter — has Buddy Fever.

 See all articles by: PHILIP EIL