WHY: “Gripping and strikingly original.
“A debut novel about an off-the-radar hit man who becomes an inadvertent hero and is thrust into the limelight—just where he cannot be if he hopes to stay alive.
“Roy Cooper is a disinterested sort of killer; he does his work because it’s what he knows how to do, which is exactly what he’s doing in L.A. when he stumbles upon a group of gangbangers terrorizing a jogger, who happens to be a mayoral candidate. Roy intervenes, but the jogger is murdered and Roy seriously wounded. A video made by an observer goes viral, and Roy is suddenly very much on everyone’s radar screen, including the psychotic Albert, once Roy’s mentor but now his enemy.
“Frank layers multiple subplots involving a host of other characters over Roy’s story, as well as tracking back across Roy’s early life…Every one of the characters—in particular the teenage gangbangers—springs to vivid and tragic life.” —Bill Ott, BOOKLIST
From the beginning of the book:Five days after the quake, Roy Cooper boarded USAir flight 626, LGA to LAX, to pay a visit to a man named Martin Shine who had been, according to Harvey’s brief message earlier that morning, “hiding out with his Armenian whore somewhere in North Hollywood.” Roy packed a bag, unsure as to whether or not his kit would make it through security, and took a bus to the airport. At LaGuardia, he watched the ground crew out the window and, for a second, pictured his dad down there on the tarmac, leaning against a trailer full of luggage. The man in his thick glasses with the black frames, all the time grinning, pointing his index finger like a gun as he said hello to anybody who happened by. Roy stared until they called his flight over the PA and the image vanished.