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The Nightworkers: A Novel por Brian Selfon
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The Nightworkers: A Novel (edição 2020)

por Brian Selfon (Autor)

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Título:The Nightworkers: A Novel
Autores:Brian Selfon (Autor)
Informação:MCD (2020), 320 pages
Colecções:Lista de desejos

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The Nightworkers por Brian Selfon

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A dysfunctional criminal family thrown together by circumstances. Then a murder and they find their lives falling apart as secret after secret is slowly revealed. So well done! ( )
  JJbooklvr | Sep 18, 2021 |
This novel had a rough, violent start and I almost put it down. Much to my surprise and pleasure, it turns into a tender meditation on family and loyalty. Uncle Shecky, an unmarried money launderer in Brooklyn, has taken in his nephew Henry and his niece Kerasha and makes a loving home for them, while making Henry his assistant in his criminal life. Kerasha, recently released from prison, is a crackerjack burglar and a recovering addict who is trying to adjust to life outside and to fend off her urge for heroin. Henry, a budding artist, meets and idolizes Emil, another artist, and they become close as Henry recruits Emil as a cash runner. Enter detective Zera, who was trafficked at twelve in her native Montenegro and is rescued by a human rights group. She seeks vengeance by tracking down the players in a Brooklyn trafficking operation, snagging Shecky and Henry in her net. I told you it wasn't pretty! But the author allows the impure hearts of Shecky and his family to grow and for the truly bad guys (and a few innocents) to receive their just desserts. ( )
  froxgirl | Jan 14, 2021 |
What a fabulous novel. Shecky is a hardworking man who has taught his nephew everything about the business and makes a point of bringing the family - Shecky, Henry, and niece Kerasha - together for meals. He has his standards. He also has a job laundering money, and spends his days keeping track of money that comes from a variety of sources, sending it through a complex web of shell companies and offshore accounts, until it comes out clean. Henry collects the cash, using a group of runners to fan out across New York and gather cash from small Brooklyn businesses that want to evade the tax man and some larger businesses that want a front of legitimacy. Henry is also an untrained artist, and when he meets Emil, a talented artist, their interests seem to align. Emil has been slinging dope to make ends meet. He can move up in the world by working for Henry - and can teach Henry about art. Their friendship is deep.

So is the love Shecky feels for his nephew and for Kerasha, a genius thief who was defeated, just once, by a complicated Russian combination lock, enough to spend six years incarcerated before being paroled and taken in by her uncle. She's not thrilled that she has to see a psychiatrist regularly as part of her release, but since his recommendation will determine whether she goes back inside or goes free, she has to do it, assisted by lines of poetry or other fragments of the books she devours to fill the gaps left after her mother died of an overdose. (The books are all stolen.)

It's all going well, until Emil is murdered, someone is watching their house, and some of the elaborate banking arrangements Shecky has carefully made start shutting down. Transfer denied. Account closed. Internal inquiry. Each of them has to confront the reality of the violence all that money represents - and the danger they are in.

This is not a thriller (though I found it thrilling). It's a rich set of characters, beautifully developed, complex and arresting, including occasional glimpses of Zera Montenegro, a police officer who is desperately trying to build a case against a Russian whose money, laundered by Shecky, comes from trafficking women - something she knows from her own experience, But the indifference of the NYPD toward the victims she cares about weighs her down.

The story uses Emil's murder as a linchpin, with the characters' stories, before and after, connected through it with narrative skill. Even better is the writing - evocative and sharp. There's a wonderful tension build up around the moral dilemma Shecky faces as he has to confront the crimes his skillful financial sleights of hand enables.

I read this book within 24 hours. It cost me sleep, but was worth it. I won't forget these characters, and I will keep puzzling over the irony that, in between chapters, I read an investigative journalism piece, part of the FinCEN Files, about how big banks profit from massive amounts of global money laundering, documenting transfers of funds by terrorists and drug cartels but doing next to nothing to stop the flow.
1 vote bfister | Sep 23, 2020 |
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813.6 — Literature American and Canadian American fiction 21st Century

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