by Brian Selfon
Shecky Keenan has everything he ever wanted and never had: a family that sits down to dinner together, a profitable business, a house and security.
So maybe the business is a money-laundering operation. And maybe he trained his nephew, Henry Vek, whom he took in as a frightened 10-year-old orphan, to manage the runners in the business. And maybe the latest addition to the family, Kerasha Brown, a famed former child-thief, is fresh out of prison and could be sent back any time her court-appointed psychiatrist decides she’s taking the wrong path.
It works — until inexplicable cracks appear in Shecky’s world. Transfers of money denied by Bank of America. Notifications of internal inquiries by Chase. An account closed by Capital One.
“But these notices, when pieced together, form a question that could come only from the devil. And this question had Shecky springing up in bed at three o’clock this morning, had him coughing out fear until his eyes were wet.”
The match that threatens to ignite an explosion is the murder of Henry’s Thursday runner, Emil Scott. He was carrying a black garbage bag filled with $250,000 from a trusted client. The bag is missing.
Brian Selfon has created a richly drawn cast of characters, original and easy to relate to. Kerasha is an avid reader; lines of Walt Whitman’s poetry unspool in her mind as she goes about her business. Henry who has artistic inclinations and is drawn to Emil’s artistic talent and knowledge. Zera Montenegro, the twisted-fingered cop who follows money launderers, is really after sex-traffickers. Zera was once one of their victims.
And, of course, there’s Shecky, who was denied love and security as a child — but can generate it for Henry and Kerasha.
As Selfon carries his story back and forth in time and from one character’s perspective to another, the motivations and contradictory facets of his characters is revealed. He doesn’t whitewash criminals, but he does make them human. While this book involves a mystery, it is a story about a family at its heart.
About the Author: Brian Selfon
Brian Selfon acquired his knowledge of money laundering in nearly 20 years of working in criminal justice. More than 15 of those years were spent working with law enforcement agencies in New York, including serving as the chief investigative analyst for the Brooklyn District Attorney’s Office.
He now lives in Seattle with his family, where he works as a public defense investigator.
THE NIGHTWORKERS is his first novel.