the Lines

by Michael Patrick Murphy

A sequel to Michael Patrick Murphy’s first novel, Neighborhood Lines, Redeem the Lines finds Nate and Patrick out in the real world where they ultimately cross paths and reunite in the mid 1990’s Boston landscape.  Learn More ↓

About Redeem the lines

Two worlds on a razor's edge

The racially charged streets of 1990s Boston have hit a record-high murder rate. With dominating mob boss Whitey Bulger out of the picture, several rising-talent gang leaders vie for the throne, leaving in their war’s wake more bodies than the corrupt police bother to deal with.

Patrick, an Irish Catholic boxer fresh out of prison for something he didn’t do, returns to his old neighborhood and barely recognizes it with the proliferation of heroin and its zombie addicts. At the same time, his old high school friend Nate, a Black out-of-state college graduate, comes back to Boston to attend yet another funeral.

When Patrick flies to Ireland to pull a money drop orchestrated by his IRA–connected former cellmate, the city mayor, and possibly even Bill Clinton, Nate digs deeper into the gang underground to uncover the truth about his cousin’s death. Fueled with vengeance for their cousins who were murdered by one another’s associates, old friends collide in the last place they ever thought they’d find themselves, but they manage to see beyond their ravenous craving for swift justice and together tackle the true cause of all the violence.

Breaking down neighborhood boundaries and racial biases, Redeem the Lines will thrust you through whiskey benders, bare-knuckle brawls, and midnight rendezvous to expose the true colors of prejudice and corruption and find the key to resolving both of them.

Boston Police Department anti-gang violence unit searches a car and pats down youth suspects in a Boston neighborhood
Mountain sheep, Od Bog Road, Connemara, Ireland
Funeral for a victim of police beating
A late night in beautiful Galway City
Combat zone adult entertainment area Washington Street, Boston, Massachusetts
The London Docklands bombing (also known as the South Quay bombing or erroneously referred to as the Canary Wharf bombing) occurred on February 9, 1996, when the IRA detonated a powerful truck bomb
$1.2 million worth of weapons headed to the IRA from the Gloucester fishing trawler were seized by the Irish Naval Service after they were transferred to an Irish ship, the Marita Ann, off the coast of County Kerry, Ireland
The FBI’s relationship with Whitey Bulger exposed the decades of corruption within the Bureau
The notorious O’Riley’s Boxing Club in Quincy Center, where the toughest Boston fighters trained during the 90s
President Bill Clinton in Dorchester is helped over a bar at the Eire Pub by Boston Mayor Ray Flynn
Chinatown Boston
The Eire Pub Dorchester, MA
Patrick parked his car near this Sheriff Street alley in Dublin Ireland Photo by Colm Pierce
The Boston skyline with basketball courts and baseball field in the foreground.
The Roundstone Harbour in Roundstone, Co. Galway, Ireland
Suffolk County 8x8 jail cell shared by Patrick and Choppa for four and a half years
The Paul Revere statue in Boston’s North End remains a symbol of the birth of America’s freedom
The Jury examines the crime scene where Darlene Tiffany Moore was killed as she sat atop the mailbox on Humbolt Avenue in Boston’s Roxbury
Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino talks with residents on Magnolia Street in the Roxbury neighborhood of Boston while touring areas of the city recently impacted by gang violence
The Clarence Hotel in Dublin, owned by U2 band members Bono and The Edge
A young child sells newspapers on Londonderry Street during the cease-fire in Northern Ireland

Redeem the Lines Endorsements

“As a middle-aged man born and living in Ireland. I can attest that the story line, with fascinating detail about Nate and Patrick, almost mirrors in reverse the journey of many Irishmen to the USA. Mike Murphy tells a gripping story of underworld situations as well as life in rural and urban Ireland in the 1990s. Reading some of the sections took me back to bars and nightclubs I visited and historical family situations I experienced. The story is descriptive and superbly crafted and provides honest backdrops for a changing and historical period in transatlantic travel and the situations people faced to try build a better life and livelihood.”
Niall Cull, CEO, DLR Leisure, Dublin, Ireland

Redeem the Lines is a compelling story and a must-read. It tells the story of two young men from working class backgrounds whose lives intertwine over the years. The battle to overcome their inner demons is a war against themselves. Reading Murphy’s book has left me reflecting about my own existence and about Dublin in the 80s.”
Colm Pierce,, Dublin, Ireland

Redeem the Lines is an eye opening and inspiring read. The friendship of Patrick and Nate occurs during a time of troubled cultural lines in 1990s Boston. Through Patrick and Nate’s differences, their souls bond and show how human relationships can grow through conflict resolution and open minds.”
Chenoa Maxwell,

Redeem the Lines is an engaging sequel to Neighborhood Lines, the story of Nate and Patrick, two young men coming of age in a city with strong racial and economic boundaries. As they transition into adulthood, the excitement doesn’t slow down on this thrilling ride through the inner city of Boston.”
Cornell Mills, Roxbury, Boston, Massachusetts

“Michael Murphy has expanded the saga of Patrick and Nate from the neighborhoods of Boston to the far reaches of Connemara, Ireland. Their exploits are at times bleak, often darkly humorous, and always compelling. Redemption comes in different ways, and Murphy weaves a complex tale of old loyalties challenged in a more modern world.”
Christopher Murray, Boston Attorney

“Nate and Patrick, the lead characters in this story, have pushed me to think about
what I truly stand for, as well as what I have come to tolerate in my world. Michael
Patrick Murphy couldn’t have written such an insightful tale had it not been for his
own personal transformation.

Growing up Irish Catholic, I recall Father Sean Walsh as the only clergy member
who didn’t threaten me with damnation for my sins. He told me that redemption was a power to change for the better that I could find inside myself.

After reading Redeem the Lines, it dawned on me that the more things change, they do not have to stay the same. As such, I have befriended the characters in this story, and they inspire me to be the change that I truly want to see in the world. The colorful people and riveting events make this book hard to put down. Pick it up—there may very well be something inside of this story that is meant for you.”
James McPartland, founder, Access Performance International

“I am part of a family that participated in the METCO program, and I can attest that
this is a riveting story that reveals that friendships can be forged despite being from different neighborhoods during the desegregated 1990s Boston. Murphy perfectly captures Patrick and Nate’s challenges in their respective worlds as they both struggle to do what’s right for their city, their families, and themselves.”
Fred Forsgard, thespian, Boston, Massachusetts

Neighborhood Lines

In the heart of Boston in the 1980’s—a city engulfed in turmoil and racial tensions, an unlikely friendship develops between two students at Cathedral High School. Patrick is an Irish-Catholic born leader. His friends follow him with blind allegiance. Nate is a young, disciplined, black athlete—focused on finding his way out of the neighborhood alive. The two young men find themselves on hectic school grounds, in a culture that shuns friendships like theirs. Learn More →