Letter Writer – Dan Fesperman
ONE OF THE NEW YORK TIMES 10 BEST CRIME NOVELS OF THE YEAR
February 9, 1942. Disgraced Southern cop Woodrow Cain arrives in New York City for a new position with the NYPD and is greeted with smoke billowing out from the SS Normandie, engulfed in flames on the Hudson. On Cain’s first day on the job, a body turns up in the same river. Unfamiliar with the milieu of mob bosses and crooked officials in the big city, Cain’s investigation stalls, until a strange man who calls himself Danziger enters his life. Danziger looks like a miscreant, but speaks five languages, has the manners of a gentleman, and is the one person who can help Cain identify the body. A letter writer for illiterate European immigrants, Danzinger has a seemingly boundless knowledge of the city’s denizens and networks–and possesses information that extends beyond the reach of his clients, hinting at an unfathomable past. As the body count grows, Cain and Danziger inch closer toward an underground web of possibly traitorous corruption . . . but in these murky depths, not even Danzinger can know what kind of danger will await them.