Belfoure has put his unique "blueprint" on another very interesting story. I loved the time period of the Gilded Age in New York; society is just about to change but still has many rigid mores and rules. It's the characters that do not follow these laws or are forced to go outside the boundaries that are most interesting. What a great concept to make an architect part of Kents Gents to absolve a huge gambling debt ..and the ending of the book leaves the reader begging the question: does crime pay after all????— Sharon
In 1886 New York, a respectable architect named John Cross has a problem. His son has racked up a staggering gambling debt to Kent's Gents, and Cross finds he must pay it back for his son. John is a study in contrasts. He is an architect, husband, father and, ultimately a thief... and his beloved brother is a Pinkerton detective. Quite a balancing act. The head of the notorious Kent's Gents comes up with a creative plan: all debts will be absolved if Mr. Cross will obtain architectural plans of the wealthy's mansions he has designed and creatively break into those seemingly impenetrable fortresses. Alas, debts to men like Kent are never fully repaid so Mr. Cross constructs a very satisfying solution to his situation.— Joyce
September 2015 Indie Next List
“The Cross family has it all. Born into the wealthy class in the 1880s and related to the Astors of New York City, their lives are envied. John, the patriarch, is a highly regarded architect; his wife, Helen, a beauty; and his children, George, Julia, and Charlie, each accomplished. But all is not as it seems. George has a gambling problem, and his inability to control himself causes criminals to threaten his family for repayment. Belfoure weaves a fascinating story that reveals the descent of this family into the underworld of crime. The endeavor to save George and the drama that ensues not only captivates the Cross family, but the reader as well. A great read!”
— Stephanie Crowe (W), Page & Palette, Fairhope, AL
"Belfoure's sly, roguish writing opens a window to those living both gilded and tarnished lives... Best of all, Belfoure holds together each and every thread of the novel, resulting in a most memorable, evocative read."--Publishers Weekly, STARRED Review
Gangs of New York meets The Age of Innocence as a society architect in 1880s Manhattan is forced to join a gritty crime ring--from the author of the New York Times bestselling The Paris Architect
The Debt Must Be Repaid -- or Else
In 1886 New York, a respectable architect shouldn't have any connection to the notorious gang of thieves and killers that rules the underbelly of the city. But when John Cross's son racks up an unfathomable gambling debt to Kent's Gents, Cross must pay it back himself. All he has to do is use his inside knowledge of high society mansions and museums to craft a robbery even the smartest detectives won't solve. The take better include some cash too --the bigger the payout, the faster this will be over.
With a newfound talent for sniffing out vulnerable and lucrative targets, Cross becomes invaluable to the gang. But Cross's entire life has become a balancing act, and it will only take one mistake for it all to come crashing down --and for his family to go down too.