cover image The Kortelisy Escape

The Kortelisy Escape

Leonard Rosen. Permanent, $29.95 (304p) ISBN 978-1-57962-542-9

In this quirkily endearing gem of a crime novel from Rosen (The Tenth Witness), 66-year-old convict Nate Larson agrees to testify against his brother, Dima, who’s charged with human trafficking in an upcoming mob-related trial, in return for parole and custody of his 14-year-old granddaughter, Grace, who has been raised in a series of foster homes. Having learned stage magic in prison, Nate plans to go on a magic tour of New England with Grace as his assistant, then escape into Canada after his last performance to avoid testifying against Dima. Gangster Maxim Petrov, who has taken over Dima’s Boston area grocery business, a front for smuggling young Ukrainian women into the U.S., has other ideas. As with any magic trick, nothing is as it appears, as Grace discovers while learning to trust a man burdened by a lifetime of secrets. Meanwhile, Nate must outdo Houdini if he’s to save himself and his family in the greatest escape trick of his life. Distinctive characters, a tightly woven plot, and polished prose make this a winner. (Oct.)