cover image The Striver

The Striver

Stephen Solomita. Severn, $28.95 (208p) ISBN 978-0-7278-8462-6

At the outset of Solomita’s satisfying sequel to 2013’s Dancer in the Flames, Teddy Winuk, an ambitious crook on the rise, goes for a walk early one cold fall morning in Greenpoint, the industrial Brooklyn neighborhood where he grew up. Muffled sobs lead him to look behind one of the footings of the Pulaski Bridge, where Carlo Pianetti, the son of mob boss Johnny Piano, is raping a woman on the pavement. Since Teddy has been paying tribute to Johnny and getting nothing in return for two years, he makes what he considers a reasonable decision to fire a bullet into Carlo’s head. NYPD Det. Boots Littlewood catches the call on Carlo and works out what was happening when he was shot—and searches for Carlo’s victim as well as the killer. Johnny is soon looking for the shooter, too. Because Boots and Johnny have a history, Boots’s hot-blooded police partner, “Crazy” Jill Kelly, is assigned to keep an eye on him. Solomita delivers a thoroughly entertaining match of wits, brawn, and daring. (Feb.)