by Tod Goldberg


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"[An] exciting and darkly funny crime novel." —C. Moon Read, Las Vegas Weekly, 1 of Our 20 Favorite Books of the Past Twenty Years

Sal Cupertine is a legendary hit man for the Chicago Mafia, known for his ability to get in and out of a crime without a trace. Until now, that is. His first-ever mistake forces Sal to botch an assassination, killing three undercover FBI agents in the process. This puts too much heat on Sal, and he knows this botched job will be his death sentence to the Mafia. So he agrees to their radical idea to save his own skin.

A few surgeries and some intensive training later, and Sal Cupertine is gone, disappeared into the identity of Rabbi David Cohen. Leading his growing congregation in Las Vegas, overseeing the population and the temple and the new cemetery, Rabbi Cohen feels his wicked past slipping away from him, surprising even himself as he spouts quotes from the Torah or the Old Testament. Yet, as it turns out, the Mafia isn't quite done with him yet. Soon the new cemetery is being used as both a money and body-laundering scheme for the Chicago family. And that rogue FBI agent on his trail, seeking vengeance for the murder of his three fellow agents, isn't going to let Sal fade so easily into the desert.

Gangsterland is the wickedly dark and funny new novel by a writer at the height of his power—a morality tale set in a desert landscape as ruthless and barren as those who inhabit it.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781619025783
Publisher: Catapult
Publication date: 08/11/2015
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 464
Sales rank: 163,467
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 1.20(d)

About the Author

Tod Goldberg is the author of the crime-tinged novels Living Dead Girl, a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, Fake Liar Cheat, and the popular Burn Notice series. His essay “When They Let Them Bleed” first published in Hobart was selected by Cheryl Strayed for inclusion in Best American Essays 2013. He is also the author of the story collections Simplify, a 2006 finalist for the SCIBA Award for Fiction and winner of the Other Voices Short Story Collection Prize, and Other Resort Cities. His short fiction has appeared in numerous journals and anthologies, twice receiving Special Mention for the Pushcart Prize as well as being named a Distinguished Story of the Year in the 2009 Best American Mystery Stories. His essays, journalism, and criticism appear regularly in many publications, including the Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, and Las Vegas CityLife and have been featured in Salon, Wall Street Journal, E!, and Jewcy among many others.

Read an Excerpt

Six months he’d been in the same house, not allowed to walk out the front door, only out back, only at night. Not that he’d been up for any travel, not with the litany of surgeries he’d gone through: a new nose and chin, a bunch of teeth ripped out and replaced with a permanent implant. They’d lasered off his tattoos, shaved his head, got him to start wearing glasses. And the last thing, he hoped, was this new jaw. Even the surgeries had been done in secret – driven in the back of a windowless van in the middle of the night and hustled into a doctor’s office, Sal shot up full of anesthesia and then waking up back in the house. It was at the point now where he didn’t even bother taking the pain medication. Every part of his body hurt and all the Percocets in the world weren’t going to make it any better, not while he was being held captive in an elegant two-story house with a saltwater pool, indoor hot tub and sauna, full gym, and a good 500 cable channels pumped into every room in the joint.

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