“Button Man” by Andrew Gross reaches into history to tell family stories couched as a thriller. New Yok City in the 1920s and 1930s is overcrowded and dangerous. It is filled with family tradition, cultural values, and even a little humor, but it is also overrun with organized crime, union power, mob control, widespread murder, and just plain nastiness. Even the title “Button Man,” the slang term for a hit man, reflects the mood of the era.
This is a family story that centers around three brothers in the women’s garment industry, (Something distinct and very different from the “fashion” business.) They love each other, betray each other, and seek forgiveness and redemption.
Gross pulls readers into the story right from the start and keep us turning the pages all the way through. The author draws directly from his own family to create complex and believable characters and complements them other historic figures who weave in and out along the way. It is a first-generation story with strong characters, heart pounding suspense, and a payoff at the end.
I received a copy of “Button Man” from Andrew Gross, St Martin’s Press, Minotaur Books, and Net Galley. It was an engrossing and absorbing. I anxiously await the next in this series of historic-based family stories.