NYPD’s Artie Cohen (Red Hook, 2006, etc.) shares his angst with yet another borough as he looks into the disappearance of a Staten Island trash mogul.
His old boss Sonny Lippert doesn’t mean to throw cold water on Artie Cohen’s Coney Island idyll with his nephew Billy Farone, 14, home on leave from the Florida facility where he landed after stabbing Heshey Shank to death. After all, the trip had already been mildly disrupted when a private plane crashed on the beach. But Sonny is so hot to have Artie speak Russian to Vera Gorbachev—one of his girlfriend Rhonda’s shirttail relations whose garbage contractor husband went downstairs one night to confront an intruder and vanished—that he talks him into leaving Billy on his own for two hours so that he can meet Sonny at Peter Luger’s for steaks. Artie also leaves Billy when he drinks vodka with his old friend Tolya Sverdloff and when he stops off at Vera’s home near the Fresh Kills landfill. He brings the teenager along to the lavish bash Tolya throws for Luda, an orphan Tolya’s daughter Valentina brought home from Russia. But it’s the place he can’t bring Billy—the condo Artie’s wife Maxine puts off limits to youth with a troubled past—that oppresses him most as he shuttles between the Manhattan loft he hasn’t sold and the semi-suburban wasteland of Richmond.
Self-flagellation is still job one, with detection taking second place in Nadelson’s joyless sixth.