Andrew Gross’ prowess for rich historical mysteries takes another leap forward with the engrossing Button Man.
Set in New York City’s Lower East Side, Button Man works well as a family drama, the story of the rise of organised crime and its control of some unions, and a guide to the garment industry’s early days and culture. It’s also a story about the American Dream, of people who start with nothing and rise through hard work. At the heart of Button Man is a simple yet vital question: “What does it mean to be a good man?” as one character asks. Add to that, how does one combat evil and yet keep one’s soul. Button Man starts in the early part of the 20th century, smoothly moving through the 1930s and ending in 1992. Union corruption and vicious criminals add an intriguing background, but the main strengths to Button Man are the family dynamics and an insider’s look at the garment industry.
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