Against the Law: A Joe the Bouncer Novel

by David Gordon

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Joe is a retired Special Forces operative with a bad case of PTSD and some substance abuse issues, trying to rebuild a simple life as a strip club bouncer living with his grandmother in Queens. But this simple life is constantly complicated by the fact that, at the invitation of his childhood friend, now a Mafia boss, Joe also moonlights as a fixer for the most powerful crime families in town. 

In his newest assignment, Joe is sent to take out a shadowy figure named Zahir, who made the New York crime families’ hit list by hijacking heroin shipments bound for U.S. dealers and funneling the money to terror cells. Which means that Gotham’s underbelly has brought Joe back to the one place in the world he doesn’t want to revisit: the poppy fields of Afghanistan, a country that left permanent scars on his body as well as his psyche. If he were alone, his past demons might be too much to bear―but luckily, his occasional partner Yelena, a master thief whose skills have found her wanted from Brighton Beach to Moscow, is by his side.

Acclaimed author David Gordon paints a devious tapestry of connections between the warlords of Afghanistan and the crime syndicates of the Five Boroughs in this globetrotting thriller with a tough-but-tender protagonist. Fans of capers that balance intense action and suspense with raucous entertainment in the style of Elmore Leonard or Donald E. Westlake are sure to find a friend in Joe the Bouncer.

This one has everything, from a car chase that makes what Steve McQueen does with that Mustang in Bullitt seem like a Sunday drive, to a showdown in a Russian bathhouse that is part Marx Brothers and part Kill Bill. For anyone with a taste for blood-spattered comic capers featuring characters who vault off the page, Against the Law is an exquisite fever dream in Technicolor.

Booklist STARRED REVIEW

Gordon is fashioning himself an impressive crime world niche somewhere between Donald Westlake and Elmore Leonard, with his raucous, rollicking stories of New York City crime… Come for the intricate, surprising crime scenarios; stay for the banter.

CrimeReads

Gordon’s sentences are crisp and often jarring. His plots unspool in strange, sometimes disturbing ways . . . enjoy the disorientation and to trust that you’re in the hands of an earnest storyteller.

Paris Review, on White Tiger on Snow Mountain

Gordon has a knack for twisty story lines, nonstop action, and over-the-top sequences.

Publishers Weekly

David Gordon was born in New York City. His first novel, The Serialist, won the VCU/Cabell First Novel Award and was a finalist for an Edgar Award. It was also made into a major motion picture in Japan. His work has also appeared in The Paris Review, The New York Times, Purple, and Fence, among other publications.