In the tradition of great Boston crime novels by people like Robert B. Parker, Dennis Lehane, et al., now comes Bosstown, the debut novel from Adam Abramowitz. The main protagonist is Zesty Myers who is, by his own admission, Boston's fastest bike messenger. The only thing faster than Zesty's bike is his mouth. He's a major smart-ass, even in circumstances when he should know well enough to stay quiet.
Zesty's father, Will, once ran heavy-duty backroom poker games and was a major behind-the-scenes Boston political fixer. But Will is now old, suffering from Alzheimer's, and in need of constant care. Zesty's brother, Zero, runs a moving service that employs a lot of ex-cons, and their mother, Diane, was a former radical bombmaker, who disappeared years earlier after allegedly helping to rob a bank.
All in all, it's quite the family, and this is quite the story, involving crimes that span two generations. The novel kicks off when Zesty agrees to substitute for another courrier and picks up a package from a record producer's office. But as Zesty races to deliver the package, he's blindsided by a Buick. He and his package go flying; the package bursts open, and all of a sudden, $20,000 in currency is flying through the air.
Passers-by quickly scoop up most of the dough and run off with it, but the cops arrive and it quickly becomes apparent that the remaining money was part of a major bank heist a few days earlier. Zesty soon finds himself in the middle of a huge and dangerous mess, involving sex, drugs, rock and roll, and two major bank robberies that are separated by nearly forty years.
It's a great ride, funny, scary, and compelling, and the reader finds him or herself racing through the pages of this novel at the speed of Zesty's messenger bike, careening through the streets of Beantown. I loved the Zesty Meyers character, and all of the supporting characters are very well drawn and interesting too. Abramowitz has a great voice, and I eagerly await his second novel. 4.5 stars for this one.