"Both a suspenseful crime story and the saga of a troubled Irish- American family... Superb." (Associated Press)
Kevin Curran was ready to give up on his younger brother, Danny, who is lost to heroin addiction and hard, desperate living on the streets of New York. So when Danny shows up on Kevin's Staten Island doorstep, looking clean, fit, and prosperous, Kevin can't help but be overjoyed.
But when Danny offers Kevin a role in an underworld plot revolving around the abandoned Bloodroot Children's Hospital, not even Kevin's worst nightmares could have prepared him for what he'll discover or the horrific revelations that will pit them against a world of murder, mob hitmen-and each other.
Loehfelm follows Fresh Kills (2008), which won Amazon's Breakthrough Novel Award, with another novel that mines the emotional dynamics of family relationships, if with fewer thrills. Kevin Curran, a history teacher at a Staten Island community college, is surprised when his younger brother, Danny, turns up after years spent on the street as a drug addict. Danny, who's kicked his habit but is now working for a local crime kingpin, persuades Kevin to help him dig up several bodies buried on the grounds of the long-abandoned Bloodroot Children's Hospital, a horrifying concentration camp like institution for kids from which Danny was adopted. Soon Kevin finds himself enmeshed in a complicated plan involving an illegal property development project. The action gets moving in the final pages, but by then some readers will feel they know a lot about Kevin and Danny but not enough about the evil scientists and unspeakable crimes associated with Bloodroot.