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A journalist and documentary film maker, Reggie Nadelson is a New Yorker who also makes her home in London. She is the author of five novels featuring the detective Artie Cohen ('the detective every woman would like to find in her bed' Guardian). Her non-fiction book Comrade Rockstar, the story of the American who became the biggest rock star in the Soviet Union, is to be made into a film starring Tom Hanks.
With his wife Maxine out of town, Artie Cohen is alone in Manhattan when his nephew Billy Farone is released for a couple of weeks 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 to, the only person Billy cares about, the man Billy wants to be. Now a handsome, intelligent and funny boy of fourteen, Billy seems to be cured, to be free of whatever it was - sickness, evil - that made him kill Shank. Artie believes, wants desperately to believe, that Billy is OK. But from the moment a small plane crashes on to the beach at Coney Island, bombs go off in London, and New York is shaken out of the sense that the bad times are over, Artie begins to wonder. There are signs that Heshey Shank's family want Billy locked up for good. And Billy's mother doesn't want him coming home. Then bodies begin to appear and Artie, up against a brick wall of his own hope and despair, doesn't know what or whom to believe ...
As New York basks in a fine Indian summer, no one notices the feral teenagers in Central Park, or the homeless living by the river. Certainly no-one connects them to the Russian gangsters buying into respectability on the East Side, or to the dead Englishman in the swimming pool... Thomas Pascoe, a super-rich, elderly investment banker, is found gorily murdered on the day he was due to return to London, floating in the pool of the most exclusive apartment block in town. As head of the 'co-op' for the luxury apartments, where the residents own the shares, Pascoe had his say in who got to live in them, and who didn't. Could this be a motive for his murder? The investigation takes Artie Cohen to London, where the gripping plot unfolds with a series of murders, an encounter with his longtime girlfriend, and a meeting with a figure from the past. The momentum of apparently tangential events builds to a trademark thrilling conclusion.
A murder in New York's diamond district; a dead Chinese girl with a photograph in her pocket; a plastic bag of irradiated heroin lying on the mantelpiece in an empty apartment; a fire in a sweatshop in the city's swarming Chinatown; and the worst blizzard in New York history - these events conspire to bring ex-cop Artie Cohen out of retirement and back into an obsessive world of murder and politics that nearly killed him. Artie's struggles to link them take him from New York, his own back yard, to Hong Kong, site of the last big grab on earth, where everything, and everyone, is for sale.
It's a late summer Sunday in downtown New York City, and Artie Cohen is getting married. Watching the sun rising over the East River, he's content. A message comes in from an old friend, Sid McKay, asking Artie to come out to Red Hook in Brooklyn. It's his wedding day, but Artie owes Sid, so he goes. On arriving he finds a dead man spreadeagled in the water off the old docks. When Sid eventually shows up, he's scared, edgy and evasive, Artie suspects he's holding something back. Even at his own wedding party, later that day, Artie can't stop thinking about Sid. Why has the death of a vagrant spooked him so much? It's not his case, but the more he digs, the more it drags him in, implicating - and threatening - his closest friends...
Reggie Nadelson's new Artie Cohen mystery begins when a jogger finds a kid's clothes drenched in blood and buried in the half frozen earth near Brighton Beach - the coast of Brooklyn. It takes place in New York, a city of islands and rivers, bridges and tunnels. All of it is set between downtown Manhattan where Artie lives, an area still traumatized by the loss of the Twin towers, and coastal Brooklyn: Brighton Beach, all boardwalk, beach and Russians; Coney Island with its wrecked amusement park; and, Sheepshead Bay with its inlets and fishing boats. The plot concerns the killing of one child and the abduction of another, and the subsequent outbreak of fear. Fear is the real story here. The fear that explodes when two children are involved and still others seem to go missing. The way the city is still locked in the terror that's never gone away since 9/11. The constant presence of barricades and barriers and soldiers with AKs as part of the New York domestic landscape. It's also about Artie's relationship with the Russian community in Brooklyn, the way the story reels him back over and over, the way he can never really escape.
What would you do if you got the face you'd always wanted? For her fifty-first birthday Betsy Thornhill went in for a little work on her face. Nothing major, just a little nip and tuck. She wanted to look 'rested'. By some miracle of bone structure she now looks fifteen years younger and stunning, and men half her age keep knocking on her door. Sounds like a dream? But one admirer won't take no for an answer. Until he's murdered, that is . . .
Artie Cohen is a good-looking New York cop with a taste for girls and jazz and with a secret past. In Red Mercury Blues he is confronted with a case that drags him painfully back into that past, first into the heart of the Brighton Beach mafia, and then deeper still into the terrifying world of atomic smuggling and the secrets of the lethal but elusive substance known as Red Mercury.