cover image Button Man

Button Man

Andrew Gross. Minotaur, $27.99 (384p) ISBN 978-1-250-17998-2

Bestseller Gross (The Saboteur) charts a gutsy kid’s struggle to succeed in the garment industry in early 20th-century New York City in this formulaic crime thriller. In 1915, 12-year-old Morris Raab lands a job sweeping floors and making deliveries for a clothing manufacturer on the Lower East Side. His ambition and drive lead him to put in extra hours and to closely study the work of veteran marker maker Mr. Beck. Despite his youth and inexperience, Morris takes over from Beck after the marker maker announces his retirement. By the time he turns 20, Morris is basically running the business. In later years, he runs afoul of an organized crime group, whose leaders include the vicious Lepke Buchalter; marries the daughter of a big-shot lawyer; and aids mob-busting prosecutor Thomas Dewey in his investigations. Gross strains credulity at several points and fails to bring the mean streets of the Big Apple to life. Still, this Horatio Alger story will resonate with his many fans. 100,000-copy announced first printing; author tour. Agent: Simon Lipskar, Writers House. (Sept.)