The Rackets by Thomas Kelly

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Fired from the mayor’s office, a political flack ends up in his old neighborhood, with a newly dangerous mission
Jimmy Dolan should have known better than to shove Frankie Keefe. Keefe may be scum—a corrupt teamster president who’s looking forward to crushing Jimmy’s father in the next union election—but Jimmy is the mayor’s right hand man, and kowtowing to scum is his job. After hearing one too many cracks about his father, Jimmy shoves the union boss onto the floor, in full view of some of the city’s most powerful people. In a flash, Jimmy’s career is finished. He returns to Inwood, in the wilds of north Manhattan, to pick up the pieces. But when his father is murdered, Jimmy takes up the old man’s campaign against Frankie Keefe. It may be suicide, but he’s got nothing else to lose. After years in City Hall, Jimmy Dolan is about to learn how ugly New York politics can get.

About Thomas Kelly

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Thomas Kelly worked in construction, graduated from Fordham & Harvard, then served as Mayor David N. Dinkins' liaison the labor unions. A Teamster, he writes for "Esquire" & the "Daily News". His first novel, "Payback", has been adapted by David Mamet for a feature film.
Published March 6, 2012 by Road. 336 pages
Genres: Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Literature & Fiction, Action & Adventure, History, Political & Social Sciences, Business & Economics, Crime, Horror. Fiction

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Kirkus Reviews

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Nevertheless, Kelly works interesting variations on familiar formulas, particularly in the story’s latter half, when Jimmy Dolan takes up the crusade his father could not finish, Cronin plots against his boss, and the Russian mob’s involvement in union politicking keeps upping the body count.

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Publishers Weekly

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Jimmy Dolan, the Director of Advance for the Republican mayor of New York, is fired after his hotheaded exchange with Frankie Keefe—the Mafia-connected president of the local Teamsters who is running for reelection against Jimmy's father, Mike—makes front-page headlines.

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Entertainment Weekly

Turns out they're right, at least in this novel whose hero, Jimmy Dolan -- once a top city official -- is put in the unenviable position of wading through the morass of money and favors among the union brass, the government, and the Mafia.

Jun 01 2001 | Read Full Review of The Rackets

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