I love this book. It reminded me of The Friends of Eddie Coyle, another favorite. Lots of low-life but lovable characters, involved in crime but not that good at it. No criminal masterminds, no genius cops, just a sea of gin, disappointment, betrayal and corruption. The tribal NYC scene is always a shock to someone like me, who grew up where people weren't quite so pigeonholed as Irish, Jewish, Polish, Italian, etc., so blatantly right out of the gate. The plot here is pretty basic, and as compelling as it is, it's the characters, including the minor ones, that give the book life. They're not afraid to tell a story, often the story of their lives, at the drop of a hat, and in the most entertaining way possible. Did I mention Elmore Leonard? If you like Elmore Leonard, you'll like this.