Tower of Babel
Shamus Award–winning author Michael Sears brings Queens, New York, to literary life in this crime series debut featuring a somewhat seedy lawyer with a heart of gold (or at least gold plate).
Queens, New York—the most diverse place on earth. Native son Ted Molloy knows these streets like the back of his hand. Ted was once a high-powered Manhattan lawyer, but after a spectacular fall from grace, he has found himself back on his home turf, scraping by as a foreclosure profiteer. It’s a grubby business, but a safe one—until Ted’s case sourcer, a mostly reformed small-time conman named Richie Rubiano, turns up murdered shortly after tipping Ted off to an improbably lucrative lead.
With Richie’s widow on his back and shadows of the past popping up at every turn, Ted realizes he’s gotten himself embroiled in a murder investigation. His quest for the truth will take him all over Queens, plunging him into the machinations of greedy developers, mobsters, enraged activists, old litigator foes and old-school New York City operators.
This action-packed series launch from Thriller Award finalist Sears (Black Fridays) introduces Ted Molloy, a down-on-his-heels former lawyer who now works as a foreclosure profiteer seeking "surplus money" in Queens, N.Y. Molloy's choice to break his first rule of business taking on a job where the money at stake is large enough to involve underhanded and scheming characters willing to knock off anyone who gets in the way results in the shooting death of his research partner, Richie Rubiano. Richie's widow, Cheryl, hair "dyed the color of fresh lemons," hires Molloy to find Richie's killer. Molloy's quest for the culprit leads him to several crooked politicians, a disreputable banker, a nefarious real estate developer, the Russian mafia, a neighborhood activist, and his manipulative ex-father-in-law, who happens to be a retired judge. The whole crew is messed up in conspiracy, fraud, bribery, and murder. Razor-edged prose, sharply defined characters, and a fast-paced plot boost this noir-wrought drama. Fans of Raymond Chandler and classic gangster films will be rewarded.