The BookBrowse Review

Published September 16, 2020

ISSN: 1930-0018

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Book Jacket

The Nightworkers
by Brian Selfon
6 Oct 2020
320 pages
Publisher: MCD
ISBN-13: 9780374222017
Genre: Thrillers
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The Nightworkers is an electrifying debut crime novel from Brian Selfon about a Brooklyn family of money launderers thrown into chaos when a runner ends up dead and a bag of dirty money goes missing.

Shecky Keenan's family is under fire―or at least it feels that way. Bank accounts have closed unexpectedly, a strange car has been parked near the house at odd hours, and Emil Scott, an enigmatic artist and the family's new runner, is missing―along with the $250,000 of dirty money he was carrying.

Shecky lives in old Brooklyn with his niece Kerasha and nephew Henry, and while his deepest desire is to keep his little makeshift family safe, that doesn't stop him from taking advantage of their talents. Shecky moves money for an array of unsavory clients, and Henry, volatile and violent but tenderhearted, is his bagman. Kerasha, the famed former child-thief of Bushwick, is still learning the family trade, but her quick mind and quicker fingers are already being put to use. They love one another, but trust is thin when secrets are the family trade. And someone will be coming for that missing money―soon.

Inspired by a career that has included corruption cases and wiretaps as an investigative analyst for New York law enforcement, Brian Selfon unspools a tale of crime and consequence through shifting perspectives across the streets, alleys, bodegas, and art studios of Brooklyn. The Nightworkers is an evocative blend of genres: a literary crime thriller with a mystery at the center of its big beating heart: What really happened to Emil Scott, and what can the future possibly hold for a family when crime is what keeps them together?

"[A]mbitious...Selfon fully fleshes out the major characters' backstories, dreams, and disappointments, and even the minor characters get their moment in the sun. Superior prose is a plus. Fans of literary crime fiction will be enthralled." - Publishers Weekly (starred review)

"Not all of the characters click, and the book contains more narrative noise than it needs, but the poetry-loving, sharply reflective Kerasha alone makes the book worth reading. She deserves a sequel all her own. A sharp, surprisingly affecting debut." - Kirkus Reviews

"Absolutely brilliant...Each character is complex and beautifully drawn, and the ending was genuinely surprising. There's art, theft, tight family bonds, and intricate plotting—it's really got everything." - Molly Odintz, CrimeReads

"A gripping, big-hearted thriller about a family of criminals coming apart at the seams. Whip-smart and surprisingly funny, The Nightworkers is a terrific debut about loyalty and the ties that bind." - Harlan Coben, author of The Boy from the Woods

"Page-turning Brooklyn noir meets compellingly complex family drama in Brian Selfon's atmospheric, edgy, and thoroughly modern The Nightworkers. You'll enjoy every unexpected page." - Kimberly McCreight, New York Times-bestselling author of Reconstructing Amelia and A Good Marriage

"The Nightworkers grabbed me from page one, and led me breathlessly through what I think might be one of the best Brooklyn-set novels I've ever read―because it understands how the people and the place are inextricably linked. An absolutely stunning debut." - Rob Hart, author of The Warehouse and the Ash McKenna series

Brian Selfon has worked in criminal justice for nearly twenty years, more than fifteen of them with law enforcement agencies in New York. As the Chief Investigative Analyst for the Brooklyn District Attorney's Office, he handled cases ranging from money laundering to first-degree murder. Brian now lives with his family in Seattle, where he works as a public defense investigator. The Nightworkers is his debut novel.

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