Rating: 3 out of 5.

This is a good historical fiction mystery set in Harlem in the early 1960s. Ray Carney came from nothing and with his drive and ambition he’s opened his own furniture store selling reasonably priced furniture. Money is always tight, so if his cousin Freddie drops off the occasional piece of jewelry, he doesn’t ask questions, and neither does the jeweler he takes it to.

When Freddie falls into a crew that pulls a high-profile heist, Ray is drug into the aftermath. Ray must navigate the criminal world, and every step he takes could mean the end of his way of life, or even his life.

The book is well-written and the characters are fully formed. Ray is smart, cunning and very determined to better his life and stay alive. The book’s pace is slow and steady, which is good as far as worldbuilding and setting the tone, but hard to plow through at times. There were definitely parts of the book where I found myself skimming to get to the next plot point. While I’m used to reading books that move a lot quicker, this slow-paced, methodical book was a nice change of pace and I liked it.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from NetGalley and Doubleday Books. All opinions are my own.