A child’s disappearance triggers a high-stakes mob turf war that Boston programmer Aloysius Tucker can only wish he had no part of.
As part of his Christmas celebration with his cousin Sal Rizzo, head of the city’s Mafia, Tucker has bought Sal’s 9-year-old daughter, Maria, a sled and taken her out on Boston Common to give it a try. Big mistake. While he’s distracted talking to Sal, who appears out of nowhere commanding him to take Maria and run, someone in a Bruins jacket leads the little girl into a Lincoln and drives away. The trademark jacket and the lack of any struggle suggest that the abductor is a member of Sal’s crew, perhaps his friend Joey Pupo, but before Sal can look into it, he’s arrested for the murder of his wife, Sophia, who was strangled with Sal’s Christmas necktie right around the time Maria was taken away. The kidnapping, the murder, and especially the arrest act as powerful catalysts for a fight to the death over Sal’s territory. As Tucker’s partner and friend, former Mossad assassin Jael Navas, tells him, “all sides see you as an enemy”: Sal’s allies want to kill him for betraying Sal; his rivals want to kill him in order to grab Sal’s turf. Tucker’s enemies apparently include rival mobster Hugh Graxton, private-equity kingpin David Anderson, Tucker’s old friend Bobby Miller of the FBI, and maybe even the attractive women who keep coming on to him. Behind the high-fatality plot, however, is a shatteringly simple motive.
As usual, Daniel (Corrupted Memory, 2015, etc.) is more than generous with the violence, guilt, tweets, craft brews, and compassion.