The Mobster's Lament

Ray Celestin

19 March 2020
576 pages


From the bestselling author of The Axeman's Jazz, Ray Celestin's The Mobster's Lament is a gripping tale of crime and jazz music, and the third entry in his City Blues Quartet. A gangster is on his last chance to escape the clutches of New York's mafia families but, as a blizzard descends on NYC, a ruthless serial killer is tracking his every move.

New York, 1947.

Mob fixer Gabriel Leveson’s plans to flee the city are put on hold when he is tasked with tracking down stolen mob money by ‘the boss of all bosses’, Frank Costello. But while he's busy looking, he doesn't notice who is watching him . . .

Meanwhile, Private Investigator Ida Young and her old partner, Michael Talbot, must prove the innocence of Talbot’s son Tom, who has been accused of the brutal murders of four people in a Harlem flophouse. With all the evidence pointing towards him, their only chance of exoneration is to find the killer themselves.

Whilst across town, Ida’s childhood friend, Louis Armstrong, is on the brink of bankruptcy, when a promoter approaches him with a strange offer to reignite his career . . .

Both a gripping neo-noir crime novel and a vivid, panoramic portrait of New York, The Mobster's Lament takes you to the heart of a city where the Mob has risen to the height of its powers.

Though they can be read individually, the City Blues Quartet begins with The Axeman's Jazz and Dead Man's Blues. Complete the series with Sunset Swing.

A vividly written crime thriller which is a contender for book of the year.
One of the most ambitious and riveting works of crime fiction in years . . . This is a compendious, gripping book that captures the fizzing energy of New York at one of the most exciting points in its history
A satisfying and multi-layered mystery, and a well researched and dynamic portrait of a teeming city, rife with corruption