“Tower of Babel” opens with a confession; if Ted had known Richie would be dead in three days perhaps he would have tried harder to like him. What follows is a story of scheming, political corruption, money laundering, defrauding the elderly, and just bad karma.
Sears drops readers into the middle of Queens, an ethnically and culturally diverse part of New York City. It is a city in transition with new development threatening to tear the community apart. New construction with buildings stretching upward into the dark grey sky seems to be planned in every neighborhood. The cost to empty a building for redevelopment is more than just money; it can also be measured by the lives of people who are disrupted, shattered, and left homeless.
Ted Molloy is a fixer, a finder; he is resourceful, impulsive, and loves baseball. He normally tracks down people who are owed extra money from real estate transactions and takes a cut for helping them get the cash. He follows the money. No one gets murdered over surplus money, and yet somehow someone did.
“Tower of Babel” starts slowly with the search for an elderly land owner and picks up momentum until the fast, furious, and tragic end. Lines are crossed that should never have been approached. One question remains; was it love or obsession if you murdered someone? Did it matter?
I received a review copy of “Tower of Babel” from Michael Sears and Soho Crime. The characters have layer upon layer of secrets, motives, and surprises. Oh yes, and there are Russians.