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TOWER OF BABEL by Michael Sears


by Michael Sears

Pub Date: June 9th, 2020
ISBN: 978-1-64129-195-8
Publisher: Soho Crime

Sears introduces a new hero to his world of high-finance thrillers: a soiled, likable Queens ex-lawyer whose highly questionable business practices are radically challenged by the murder of his partner.

Ted Molloy wouldn’t actually call Richie Rubiano his partner, but now that he can’t practice law anymore, his livelihood depends on negotiating bailouts on behalf of the principals whose properties reformed lowlife Little Richie has identified as subject to foreclosure. The latest case Richie’s turned up could be worth $1.2 million—enough to scare away Ted, who’s consistently gotten burned when he’s ventured much over his $50,000 limit, and evidently enough to get Richie shot to death. Ted, true to form, is inclined to walk away, but Richie’s feisty widow, city employee Cheryl Rubiano, demands that he deliver the $1.2 million Richie identified and incidentally find his killer. Working with Lester Young McKinley, a beguiling title insurance investigator who steps into Richie’s shoes all too easily, Ted soon tracks down Barbara Miller, the 93-year-old owner of several properties coveted by Ronald Reisner, the wealthy developer determined to erect a monster multiuse tower backed by Queens councilman Kevin Pak and opposed by a legions of locals. The most weighty of many complications is that Reisner’s attorney and bagman, Jacqueline Clavette, is married to Jill Fitzmaurice, the ex-wife Ted, back on friendly terms with her, would do anything to avoid estranging again. Or almost anything, as the explosive complications that follow make clear.

Even if you’re not already sold on Queens, Sears makes real estate law as sexy and dangerous as international intrigue.