By Matthew E. Wheeler
Falling onto Cotton
Brilliantly evocative of life at the tail end of the 80s, and perfect for readers of Dennis Lehane, it blends the teenage angst of Pretty in Pink, with the darkness of Martin Scorsese’s The Irishman. Falling onto Cotton is a razor-sharp, richly atmospheric and deeply moving portrait of a boy becoming a man, a man finding his code, and the dark underbelly of organized crime that surrounds them both. It marks the introduction of a bold new voice in the genre.
A restauranteur is faced with a choice he thought he’d left behind when his dying uncle, a Milwaukee crime lord, taps him to become the next Don.
Successful restauranteur Charlie “Chance” McQueen has a host of problems: haunting memories of his fiancée’s death, blackout nights from drinking, affairs with two married women, and a high school buddy who’s an Assistant District Attorney tasked with taking down the Carmelo family.
The favorite nephew and last surviving relative of Don Carmelo, Chance has managed to skirt the edges of organized crime. But his “family” comes with obligations he doesn’t want. Give in to a life of crime or risk the wrath of his vengeful uncle.
Not sure he can rescue himself; Chance focuses on rescuing others, including the employees of his restaurant, especially Winnie. Awkward, sweet, and soulful, 19-year-old Winnie is suspended in the inertia of waiting for life to begin and not being sure where to start. Navigating first love, parental loss, and trying to find purpose, Winnie knows he must grow up—while Chance is figuring out, he’s not quite the man he knows he needs to be.
“Sexy, smart and scintillating! Falling onto Cotton will grab you by the throat and not let up until the last page…[A] gritty first book by a masterful author!”
–Kim Hornsby, USA Today bestselling author
“A stunning debut. Such a vivid return to the ‘80s, I thought I still had hair.”
Jeff Antonelis-Lapp, author of Tahoma and Its People
“Falling onto Cotton does the impossible job of weaving coming of age in the 1980s with mob crime drama, personal relationships, and self-discovery to make for one truly unforgettable novel.”
–Jacquline Kang, author of The Club