Rivers of Gold

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New York City has never been an easy place to make it, but in the year 2013, it's a little tougher than usual. Race riots. Massive unemployment. Rampant crime. Vacant buildings now housing a thriving black market. A worthless currency and a broken government. Welcome to the Second Great Depression. Some have adapted to life in tomorrow's Big Apple. Like Renny, a part-time fashion photographer and full-time drug dealer who oversees a network of taxicabs running contraband through the underground party circuit. He ...

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Overview

New York City has never been an easy place to make it, but in the year 2013, it's a little tougher than usual. Race riots. Massive unemployment. Rampant crime. Vacant buildings now housing a thriving black market. A worthless currency and a broken government. Welcome to the Second Great Depression. Some have adapted to life in tomorrow's Big Apple. Like Renny, a part-time fashion photographer and full-time drug dealer who oversees a network of taxicabs running contraband through the underground party circuit. He works for Reza, an enterprising immigrant who has turned the city's nightlife down a deadly road.

Others in the city are just trying to hang on. Like Detective Sixto Santiago, part of an experimental new NYPD unit known as the Citywide Anticrime Bureau (CAB), squads of undercover cops in taxicabs who are meant to hold down the chaos just enough to keep tourists coming. Santiago's new assignment will send him after the man both Renny and Reza must ultimately answer to, a criminal visionary known only as the Slav. But Santiago's most dangerous foe just might be his new partner. From the grime of the city's taxi garages to the sterilized peaks where high finance and organized crime converge, Rivers of Gold is a kaleidoscopic vision of the near future gone hideously wrong.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Dunn's debut, a near-future crime novel, offers a scary view of a fiscally devastated New York City, but the execution falls short of the concept. NYPD Det. Sixto Santiago works for the controversial Citywide Anticrime Bureau, an outfit launched to combat an uptick in crime whose actions in response to a police fatality have led to citywide riots. Assigned to undercover work, Sixto ends up on a murder case, which he views as a chance for advancement, after the mutilated corpse of Eyad Fouad, an Egyptian immigrant and cabdriver, surfaces near the Manhattan entrance of the Holland Tunnel. Predictably, the trail takes a few twists and turns before the reader learns that Fouad's death was not a simple murder. Less than memorable characters and a dive into unsubtle farce toward the end (city officials have names like Janice Anopheles, Isabella Trichinella, and Tsetse Fly) don't help. (Oct.)
From the Publisher
Rivers of Gold is a mile-a-minute, kick-ass blast of tech-noir. A rush from start to finish.”—Dennis Lehane

“Often brilliant…The novel's early sections suggest an updating of the urban decadence we've seen before in books like Jay McInerney's Bright Lights, Big City and Bret Easton Ellis's Less Than Zero... There is some wildly inventive writing in this novel... and Rivers of Gold will be talked about, deservedly.” —Washington Post

 “[Dunn] paints an appropriately bleak picture of NYC three years down the road, and his two lead characters, the crook and the cop, are nicely drawn. Fans of gritty noir fiction, whether it be mystery or SF, should find this one very much to their liking.” —Booklist

“Powerfully written and creative.”  —Cleveland Plain Dealer

“This dystopian tale follows drug dealers and cops through the ruined streets of New York in 2013, after the Second Great Depression has gutted the city. It's told in a suitably rapid-fire, slangy style, but there's serious research behind it.”  —Charlotte Observer

Rivers of Gold is brilliant! Dunn is one of those true rarities among crime novelists: a natural storyteller with a breathtaking style and an unstoppable imagination. It’s The Wire, it’s James Ellroy, with a bit of Blade Runner thrown in.”—Jeffery Deaver, author of The Bone Collector and The Burning Wire

“Dunn has brilliantly tapped into our deepest fear of what tomorrow holds and crafted a unique brand of future noir. His nightmare New York of 2013 is a pitiless projection of all the angst and trembling that arrives with the morning news. This is catharsis. Read it and be free.”—John Burdett, author of Bangkok 8 and The Godfather of Kathmandu

"There’s no feeling like starting a novel and realizing that the author knows exactly what he or she is doing. It’s even a better feeling when the writer is putting in a first appearance, because such mastery is rarer... Rivers of Gold is scary as hell, because the world created between its covers could so easily become our own. However, the story is also often funny, with touches of sadness and real humanity. I hope Adam Dunn has a long career. Count me among his fans." —January Magazine, Best Books of 2010

“Stunning. Complex, insightful and bursting with energy. You must experience New York through the unique prism of Adam Dunn’s eyes.” —Mo Hayder, author of Gone

“New York is my favorite city. Once in a while a novel comes along that delivers New York to me in prose. Philip Roth did that with John Lindsay’s New York, Jay McInerney with Ed Koch’s. Adam Dunn has delivered me a recognizable New York that hasn’t happened yet and I hope to God never happens. Now that’s an achievement.”—John Lawton, author of A Little White Death

“A torrid, near-futuristic urban thriller guided by undercover detectives we know as New York City cabdrivers … This is a fascinating depiction of New York night crawlers and global crime.”—Graham Hodges, author of Taxi!

“Manhattan’s nocturnal identity has long been a blend of desire, greed, and illicit business activity, bound into a grid by the ferries of the streets: the taxicabs. Evoking today’s economic chaos and post-Guantanamo crisis of conscience, Rivers of Gold vividly imagines New York City’s nightlife the day after tomorrow.”—Burton Peretti, author of Nightclub City

Rivers of Gold breaks new ground. It’s a smashing debut.”—Aniruddha Bahal, author of Bunker 13

Kirkus Reviews

New York taxicabs form the nexus of the drug trade in this messy near-future crime novel, journalist Dunn's debut.

The city is a bleak place in 2012, ravaged by double-digit inflation and unemployment. Buildings stand empty, restaurants shuttered. Organized crime, though, has seized the opportunity. Catering to a young, well-heeled party crowd, it has created a network of "speaks," illegal bars that float between locations, never used more than once. As for the drugs, the dealer gets his money from the clients, then directs them to a waiting cab, where the product is stashed. It works like clockwork, explains Renny, the young fashion photographer who sells Specials (Ecstasy pills) as a lucrative second job. He gets his cut from underworld boss Reza, a Bulgarian who first turned the cabs into the eponymous rivers of gold. When he's not working, Renny the stud is having wild sex with L, who he dumps in favor of N. (He likes his gorgeous babes depersonalized.) "I really can have it all," he gloats. Such hubris will not go unpunished; already there are warning signs (a murdered cabbie, a looming turf war) and the cops are catching on. They are represented by Detective Santiago, a hulking young Dominican-American, and his mysterious new partner Everett More. More is uncommunicative but frighteningly good at breaking bones. The opponents are now in place, but the novel stalls. Exposition trumps action. The revelation that More is a Marine entails a lecture on the Posse Comitatus Act; the search for the cabbie'skiller pauses for a survey of the taxicab business. The old maxim (write what you know) becomes in Dunn's handling something different (write what you research). His predilections (guns, acronyms and really, really large people) poke through the narrative. A car chase (good guys pursuing good guys) and a high-tech showdown absent Reza make for an unsatisfying climax.

Dunn has hung his story on a gimmick (the cab thing). It doesn't work.

Patrick Anderson
…often brilliant…good fun, if you're not uptight about sex, drugs and youthful decadence…there is some wildly inventive writing in this novel—"future noir" one early reader called it—and we do find ourselves worrying about whether the relatively decent Renny can survive in this jungle. Dunn is a talented writer, and Rivers of Gold will be talked about, deservedly.
—The Washington Post
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781608193073
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury USA
  • Publication date: 9/28/2010
  • Pages: 288
  • Product dimensions: 9.80 (w) x 11.30 (h) x 0.98 (d)

Meet the Author

Adam Dunn is a freelance writer whose byline has appeared in eighteen publications in four countries, including the South China Morning Post, BBC News Online, CNN.com, the San Francisco Chronicle and the New York Times. He lives with his family in New York City.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 11, 2012

    Oceanstar

    I call my watrior ancectors to look down on this young warrrior and change her name to silverfish.i would also want to make her my loyal deputy in honor of rocktail.silver fish!silverfish!

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  • Posted September 5, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    an intriguing near futuristic tale

    In 2013, the second Great Depression has led to the rise of crime especially in the urban centers. NYPD established the controversial Citywide Anticrime Bureau to prevent the further increase in criminal activity. Already having strong objections to the creation of this unit, the Aubrey Bright fatality has led to rioting against the cops and especially CAB.

    CAB Detective Sixto Santiago works undercover, but when he finds the mutilated corpse of Egyptian cabdriver Eyad Fouad near the Holland Tunnel, he sees an opportunity for career advancement. Thus expecting to solve the case quickly and obtain kudos and a promotion, Santiago investigates the brutal homicide of the immigrant. However, his inquiry soon proves this was not a simple murder of a cabbie, but much more.

    Rivers of Gold is an intriguing near futuristic tale that extrapolates the economic crisis from a lingering recession into a deep rooted depression and consequently its affect on people. The investigation is entertainingly filled with twists and spins as a simple homicide that smacks of promotion turns into a convoluted job killer. Although the ending inanely and overly hyperbolizes the previously somewhat subtle farcical plot, readers will enjoy this fun police procedural.

    Harriet Klausner

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 8, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

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