The Letter Writer The first thing Woodrow Cain sees when he steps off the train in New York City on February is smoke from an ocean liner in flames in the harbor It s the Normandie and word on the street is t

  • Title: The Letter Writer
  • Author: Dan Fesperman
  • ISBN: 9781101875063
  • Page: 248
  • Format: Hardcover
  • The first thing Woodrow Cain sees when he steps off the train in New York City on February 9, 1942, is smoke from an ocean liner in flames in the harbor It s the Normandie, and word on the street is that it was burned by German saboteurs Ten lousy minutes in New York and already his new life felt as full of loss and betrayal as the one he d left behind What he left behThe first thing Woodrow Cain sees when he steps off the train in New York City on February 9, 1942, is smoke from an ocean liner in flames in the harbor It s the Normandie, and word on the street is that it was burned by German saboteurs Ten lousy minutes in New York and already his new life felt as full of loss and betrayal as the one he d left behind What he left behind in a small North Carolina town was a wife who d left him, a daughter in the care of his sister, and a career as a police officer marred by questions surrounding his partner s murder When he gets a job with the NYPD, he wants to believe it s the beginning of a new life, though he suspects that the past is as tenacious as a parasite in the bloodstream It s on the job that Cain comes in contact with a man who calls himself Danziger He has the appearance of a crackpot, but he speaks five languages, has the manners of a man of means and education and he appears to be the one person who can help Cain identify a body just found floating in the Hudson River But who exactly is Danziger He s a writer of letters for illiterate immigrants on Manhattan s Lower East Side a steadfast practitioner of concealing and forgetting for his clients, and perhaps for himself he hints at a much worldly past What and whoever he really is or has been, he has a seemingly boundless knowledge of the city and its denizens And he knows much than the mere identity of the floating corpse For one thing, he knows how the dead man was involved in New York City s Little Deutschland, where swastikas were proudly displayed just months before And he also seems to know how the investigation will put Cain and perhaps his daughter and the woman he s fallen for in harm s way But even Danziger can t know that the he and Cain investigate, the nearer they come to the center of a citywide web of possibly traitorous corruption from which neither of them may get out alive.

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      Published :2019-02-09T03:14:44+00:00

    One thought on “The Letter Writer”

    1. “Nothing awakens the conscience like a lot of money.”----P. SainathDan Fesperman, an award-wining American author, pens his new historical crime fiction, The Letter Writer that narrates the story of a newly appointed detective in NYPD who gets tangled up in a murder investigation and that is when he meets a mysterious, strange and highly knowledgeable man. Set in the post World War II New York, the author composes an intriguing as well as thrilling tale of lies, money scam, murder, scandal a [...]

    2. So I'm not a mystery/detective reader at all, but I really enjoyed this book. Interesting characters and story that moved along at a fast pace, and I enjoyed the post-WWII setting in NYC. I read the advance copy because Curious Iguana is hosting author in April. Looking forward to event and to recommending this book to others.

    3. This book left me unsatisfied in both good and bad ways. Good because I wanted to learn what happened to the characters after the end of the novel; bad because there were too many coincidences and conveniences to make the story believable. Props to Mr. Festerman for exploring three separate and fascinating topics: German espionage in the US during World War II, cooperation between the mob and law enforcement, and the juxtaposition of WASP and immigrant culture in New York City. Still, I wish he' [...]

    4. I would compare this in writing style to J.K. Rowling's the Cuckoo's Calling. Set in New York City during WW2. The protagonist is a southern man who, for various reasons, takes a job with the NYPD. The department is crooked. Most of the people he meets (including most of the cops) are horrible people. He is helped in his investigations by a man named Danzinger, who has a "past" (but is a decent human being). I enjoyed that the story is based on a lot of things that are historically accurate; how [...]

    5. Very satisfying fact-based fictional thriller. New York 1942 is well depicted -- an era steeped in romanticism is rendered realistic and gritty without noir, taking as its impetus the attempt to secure the docks in a deal between the Navy and the Mob. There are two heroes -- Woodrow Cain, a haunted police detective newly moved from North Carolina, and the eponymous Letter Writer, only known as Danziger, who meet each other due to the murder of a "floater" in the Hudson. the narrative unspools at [...]

    6. For a story that is, in many aspects true, the writing made it seem false. Also the plotting was unfocused. Was the story about Danziger's past, was it about Cain's family situation, was its about mobster politics, was it about war time espionage and counter intelligence? A well crafted book might have integrated all these plot elements into a suspenseful masterpiece. But in this case they did not fit together in a satisfying way.

    7. This was an out of the box read for me with the historical aspect of World War II, but I really enjoyed it woven with the mystery. Woodrow Cain is a detective from North Carolina that moves to New York to join the NYPD after a shooting involving his partner. As soon as he arrives he is assigned a case involving an immigrant's corpse that is removed from the waterfront. In his work to solve the case he becomes involved with a man who works as a letter writer for illiterate and non-English speakin [...]

    8. This is a remarkable new visit to an old genre, a police noir murder mystery, set in New York City in early 1942, the first months of America's war. The story alternates between Woodrow Cain, a newly-minted NYPD detective with a troubled past in North Carolina, tasked with investigating dockside murders and precinct-level corruption, and Max Danzinger, an aging translator and letter-writer for New York's Jewish emigres. It's an intriguing way of telling the story, third-person for Cain, first-pe [...]

    9. This was a nice literary mystery/speculative fiction, but left me wanting somehow. It's not that this book was not good, more that my expectations were too high. I loved reading about New York City in wartime-- it was a nice history lesson, and, having recently been to the city, made the places easy to recall. (In fact, it's one of those books I wish I'd read before my visit, so that I could look at places in modern day and say, "ah ha! I see!") I think the world of Danziger, the letter writer, [...]

    10. 3.5 stars."The Letter Writer" is a very readable novel, despite the fact that is is not very convincing. The reason for the satisfaction aspect is the character of the letter writer himself, a shabby fellow who calls himself Danziger. He makes a living reading and writing letters for people in the Lower East Side who can't do these things for themselves. He has a deep understanding of people and events going on in New York in those weeks after the bombing of Pearl Harbor. Every time he narrates [...]

    11. I enjoyed the interweaving of the historical facts and characters throughout as Fesperman guides us through a murder investigation in 1942 New York complete with mobsters, saboteurs, and spies.The "letter writer" of the title is a wonderful old character, Danziger, (almost literally) out of a Damon Runyon story. Danziger aides Woodrow Cain, a North Carolina hayseed fresh on the NYPD Homocide squad, in uncovering all the threads and pulling them taut.I always look forward to more from this author [...]

    12. Interesting how the author tied in to true historical people and events although a little difficult to follow all the characters.

    13. This was very intriguing plot and I loved the first half. I thought it dragged a bit by the second half and I started losing track of the t00 many characters. Overall interesting WWII NY story.

    14. In wartime, peacetime enemies may come together for the greater good. But what is that greater good? Is it actually good? Danziger provides a service to his neighbors by writing letters and providing information. Woodrow Cain has moved recently after a personal tragedy made his life untenable in NC. They come together after newly arrived Detective Cain is assigned to a homicide case in NYC. Corruption prevails and Cain is forced to figure out his loyalties. Well-researched & colorfully writt [...]

    15. good read. Southerner Woodrow Cain leaves his small NC home and daughter to start anew in big New York City. It's 1942. He's a police detective investigating the murder of a drowned German. Danziger, the letter writer, contacts him with information about his case. They work together. Interesting pairing, time in history and intriguing behind the scenes manipulation make for an interesting story based on facts.

    16. This book has some interesting ties to history and an interesting cast of characters. The story itself sets up similar to your standard mystery, but by the time you get to the end, you realize that the true mystery was not the murders or how they will be solved, but the characters themselves. It is not as though this is disingenuous by the author, but the final resolution feels a bit weak.

    17. This book takes place in NYC in the time right before WWII. There is a lot of stress among the citizenry, there is still the normal crime and concerns but there is another layer of angst. This is folded into personal family stories and stories involving organized crimeIt is a pleasure to read

    18. Excellent twists and turns with a healthy dose of history thrown in.This story stands alone but the historical facts intertwined within make it stand slightly above the rest. You won't be disappointed.

    19. Read this for book club. REALLY liked this book. Fascinating mix of WWII 1942 in New York City, police corruption, the mob working with the government for the war effort, Detective Cain's relocation and past history, his family interaction and of course the letter writer himself. He was the most intriguing character and learning about that occupation was interesting in itself. This book is definitely a keeper and easily one I would read again. A hit with the group and a good discussion. Highly r [...]

    20. 2.5 stars. NYC in WWII. Pace of this book was too slow for me. Totally my fault that I didn’t clue in who was the spy, who was paying off which spy or cop or mob guy. I just wasn’t invested enough in the story to care.

    21. Suspenseful and interesting. Life in WWII NYC. GERMANS, mob, NYC police while the war in Europe is going on.

    22. a police/spy/mob story that evokes images of foggy wharfs, unspoken motives, subterfuge and espionage. A story of cops, the mob, Naval intelligence, loyalty to country and the WW2 in NYC

    23. One of the most impressive aspects of this book was the atmosphere created by the author. It felt like I could visualize 1942 New York.

    24. This one started slowly until I became familiar with the characters and their motives at which point it got much more interesting.

    25. I loved the language of this story, thoughtful and educated compared to the breathy clichés I'm finding in many works of entertainment fiction. The story was also set in a rich historical context that I found involving and enjoyable. I'd read more by this author and would love to find other books that hit this mark.

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