The scene is Otisville Prison, upstate New York. A crew of fraudsters, tax evaders, trigamists and forgers discuss matters of right and wrong in a Talmudic study and prayer group, or ‘minyan’, led by a rabbi who’s a fellow convict.
As the only prison in the federal system with a kosher deli and sabbath services, Otisville is the real-life penitentiary of choice for white- collar Jewish offenders, many of whom secretly like the place. They’ve learned to play the system, so when the regime is toughened to punish a newly arrived celebrity convict who has upset the 45th president, they find devious ways to fight back.
Shadowy forces up the ante by trying to ‘Epstein’ – ie assassinate – the newcomer, and visiting poetry professor Deborah Liston ends up in dire peril when she sees too much. She has helped the minyan look into their souls. Will they now step up to save her?
Stone brings the sensibility of Saul Bellow and Philip Roth to a sharply comic novel that is also wise, profound, and deeply moral.
Jonathan Stone has published nine mystery and suspense novels, including Die Next, Days of Night, The Teller, Parting Shot, and the bestseller Moving Day. Several of his books have been optioned to Hollywood, and Moving Day is set up as a film at Lionsgate Entertainment. His short stories have appeared in Best American Mystery Stories 2016, New Haven Noir, and four Mystery Writers of America anthologies: The Mystery Box; Ice Cold: Tales of Intrigue from the Cold War; When A Stranger Comes to Town; and Crime Hits Home. He is married, with a son and daughter.