One of the best mysteries ever set in New York City, the last in an archipelago trilogy following 9/11, by the acclaimed author of Disturbed Earth.
With his wife Maxine out of town, Artie Cohen is alone in Manhattan when his nephew Billy Farone is released from the young offenders institution where he has been since he stabbed Heshey Shank to death. Artie is the one Billy wants to come home tohes family and hes the only person Billy cares about; Artie wants desperately to believe that Billy is OK.
As a plane crashes on Coney Island, bombs go off in London, and New York is shaken out of the sense that the bad times have passed, Artie begins to wonder. Over four days in Manhattan and on Staten Island there are signs that Shanks family wants Billy locked up for good, and that Billy's mother doesnt want him coming home either. The bodies begin to appear and Artie, up against a brick wall of his own hope and despair, doesnt know what or whom to believe.Reggie Nadelson has created in Artie Cohen one of mystery fictions most interesting and complex characters: tough, unusually sensitive, deeply flawed and human.
I have tried several times now to read all three Reggie Nadelson (is this a man or a woman?) books. I love Elijah Alexander. His voice is smooth, textured and gravelly at the same time. He is reading a little quickly. The protagonist is a young NYC detective, Artie, a Russian Jew by descent, who is a decently well-written character. However, almost all of the characters around him sound wrong to me. The giant Tolya is bigger than life in too many ways, so much so that he's preposterous. The annoying Sonny Lippert is so awful that I just can't stand both his dialogue, which is almost always a disconnected, rambling, historical monologue, and how he is voiced, which is nasal. The young Billy is believable, a 14-year-old with a violent history (he killed a man in Brooklyn) whom Artie brings back from his psychiatric placement in Florida. Even Artie's car is wrong: who drives an old Cadillac and lives in a loft in downtown Manhattan? Tolya's daughter Valentina is likewise so beautiful and so world-weary at nineteen that she strains credulity. The plots are dreadful, sensational murders which often involve dead children with severed limbs. Who needs this? All the post-9/11 talk is now dated, the patriotism of Staten Island quaint and boring. These books will not stand the test of time, but I hope Elijah Alexander reads another novelist. I looked at his website: he is a classically trained actor, with a lot of Shakespeare under his belt. I hope to hear more from him.
2 of 3 people found this review helpful