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Jimmy Dolan, onetime roughneck construction worker, is now an Ivy League-educated advance man for New York City's mayor. When he strikes out against a corrupt union boss at a power breakfast, he is fired. Meanwhile, Jimmy's father is running for president of the Teamsters. He is brutally muscled out of the race, so Jimmy must risk his life and return to the working-class world he left behind.

Set in the union halls, taverns and half-built skyscrapers of a Manhattan, populated by Irish racketeers, Italian mobsters and Russian killers, THE RACKETS is a fast-paced literary thriller that paints a vivid portrait of an urban underworld rarely seen in fiction.

The rackets - Thomas Kelly

9780297847304
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Title
The rackets
Author
Thomas Kelly
format
Hardback
Publisher
Weidenfeld & Nicolson
Language
English
UK Publication Date
20031009

Jimmy Dolan, onetime roughneck construction worker, is now an Ivy League-educated advance man for New York City's mayor. When he strikes out against a corrupt union boss at a power breakfast, he is fired. Meanwhile, Jimmy's father is running for president of the Teamsters. He is brutally muscled out of the race, so Jimmy must risk his life and return to the working-class world he left behind.

Set in the union halls, taverns and half-built skyscrapers of a Manhattan, populated by Irish racketeers, Italian mobsters and Russian killers, THE RACKETS is a fast-paced literary thriller that paints a vivid portrait of an urban underworld rarely seen in fiction.

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Thomas Kelly worked for ten years in construction, graduated from Fordham University and Harvard's John F. Kennedy School of Government, then served as Director of Advance for the mayor of New York. A former Teamster, he writes for Esquire. His first novel, Payback, has been adapted by David Mamet for a feature film. He lives in New York and Dublin.

This is tough-guy prose in overdrive, which moves effortlessly from union halls to the morally ambiguous world of Irish racketeers, Italian mobsters and Russian mafia hitmen, from the concrete and steel horizon of Manhattan's half-built skyscrapers to a twilight world familiar to fans of Martin Scorsese movies. This is a stylish, innovative thriller that shines like a dark sun over the often repetitive landscape of today's crime fiction.
THE GUARDIAN (8.11.03) - Maxim Jakubowski

...the flowerless, stark prose also works in a female cop, a gun nut and a richly drawn parade of hoodlums and hardcases to lend this restless, churning story a beating, if poisoned, heart.
JACK (November) - Andrew Emery

For any Raymond Chandler fans, there are several great Chandleresque moments...THE RACKETS is a fine thriller.
IRISH EXAMINER (25.10.03) - Dan MacCarthy

Jimmy Dolan's adventure certainly treads a path familiar to the author...He [Kelly] knows the territory well and some of the novel's set pieces present the strongest sections of the book.
IRISH INDEPENDENT (1.11.03) - Frank Shouldice

The Bookseller

Kelly does a nice job of blending a violent thriller with the mixed emotions that accompany a disappearing way of life.
SUNDAY MERCURY (Birmingham, 12.10.03)

Muscular retro-fiction, which last made waves stylistically in the late Thirties and early Forties, is brought rousingly up to date with this appraisal of mobsters and corrupt union bosses mauling the construction industry in present-day New York...Inspirational when you least expect it and all the better for its bare-knuckled prose. Reminiscent of Aben Kandel's fine Forties novel, City for Conquest. Is social realism gearing up for a revival?
LITERARY REVIEW (December 2003)

Type
BOOK
Keyword Index
Labor unions - United States - Fiction.|Racketeering - United States - Fiction.|Teamsters - United States - Fiction.|Manhattan (New York, N.Y.) - Fiction.
Country of Publication
England
Number of Pages
384

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