Difficult themes reflecting the frailty of the human condition, such as suicide, alcoholism, insanity and incest, are explored with rare sensitiivity in Bob Kostoff’s second novel. Garth Vasoff, a wealthy New York City businessmen, visits Niagara Falls, New York, drops in at a friendly neighborhood tavern and gets hooked by the vivacious owner, Martie McGurk. She is separated from her crazy husband who has abused their pre-teen daughter. The range of characters who frequent McGurk’s Tavern become involved in crime, drunk driving, mayhem and suicide. They may seem to be miscreants, but are family with the tavern as their only “home.” The stunning conclusion alone makes this novel a must read.