The Manhattan Transfer
Llumina Press (2010)
Reviewed by Richard R. Blake for Reader Views (3/11)
After the sudden and suspicious death of his friend John Rabin, retiring New York City policeman, Richard Weiss, joins forces with Janice Eastman to complete the research in motion when his friend died. The research involved government land scheduled to be sold to private investors. Richard and Janice soon realize that their lives are in danger as targets of these underworld crime families.
“The Manhattan Transfer” is filled with deceit, mistrust, malevolence, murder, and strange alliances. An unusual partnership is formed between the Sardona organization and the Dandakova crime family. Secret backroom meetings, greed, prestige, and a lust for power all play a part in this fast moving drama.
Discoveries made by Janice and her team of archaeologists throw a monkey wrench in the plans in motion to build a casino on a prime location in Manhattan. Millions of dollars invested by the two crime families are now in jeopardy.
Howard Greenberg has combined his background in politics, teaching, and school administration in a unique way in “The Manhattan Transfer.” As a long time resident of New York he is able to provide detailed descriptions of local points of interest, and local history about the New York City metropolitan area. He describes the ambiance of homes and haunts of the wealthy. He made my mouth water through his tantalizing word pictures of exotic foods. The wine connoisseur will enjoy his descriptions of, and understanding, and appreciation for the many unique combinations of scent and flavor of the wines.
Straightforward dialog helps carry the plot as well as provide insight into the personalities of the key characters. For me, personally, the graphic language and sexual scenes did not add to the strength of his writing nor add to worth to the storyline.
I found Greenberg’s writing compelling, however, I was left uncertain as to whether his emphasis on inconsequential detail was a strong point or a weakness in carrying out his intended plot. Howard Greenberg has a great gift for description and is meticulous in detail. I would have liked to see more of these elements used in the development of the plot line and in his character development.
“The Manhattan Transfer” is compelling reading. I was rewarded with an unexpected plot twist and surprise conclusion! Entertaining and informative.