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Rivers of Gold: A Novel Hardcover – Bargain Price, September 28, 2010

3.6 out of 5 stars 14 customer reviews

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Hardcover, Bargain Price, September 28, 2010
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Editorial Reviews

From 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.
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From Booklist

The year: 2013. The place: New York City, in the midst of the worst economic depression the country has ever seen. The city is awash in crime, and Renny, a professional photographer, is doing his part by running a string of taxis that ferry drugs and other illegal items to various underground parties. Sixto Santiago, a New York cop, is part of a new task force dedicated to, if not bringing crime to its knees, at least keeping it from completely taking over the city (without tourist dollars, the city would collapse under the weight of its own debt). As near-future noir goes, this one’s pretty well done. The author 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 (Renny, even though he’s technically a bad guy, isn’t really a bad fella—he’s just trying to keep his head above water). Fans of gritty noir fiction, whether it be mystery or sf, should find this one very much to their liking. --David Pitt

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury USA; Reprint edition (September 28, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1608193071
  • ASIN: B005Q69LT4
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1.1 x 9.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,590,181 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Tanstaafl VINE VOICE on October 6, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I hate using "page turner" in a review. But, since I'm having trouble typing this with my left hand, I think it's appropriate. My right is sprained from the speed flipping. Dunn asks just one thing - buy the premises that he sets up. Given that, hang on all the way to the conclusion. Please read the Product Description above for an ample set-up.

In a/the New York City of a few years from now, we meet the normal group of cops and drug dealers and cab drivers. Cab drivers? Yeah, and they are the cops. Or, are they the drug dealers? Both? Dunn's NYC is based on a nominally plausible projection of today's world; but extremely unlikely to occur in my reality. Your reality may vary.

I don't think there is one character in this book that I want to actually meet (no offense to those modeled after some real and presumably very nice folks). But the characters all fit into this world - and some of them are lulus. Psychiatry as a field is secure with people like these around.

There is action throughout this book and absolutely no way to catch your breath without putting the book out of sight for a while. The pursuit of justice, or whatever, is relentless and the hero's cop partner is not to be believed - but it's healthier to do so anyway. The bad guys (and gals) are very, very bad and the good guys are very, very not necessarily much better.

If you are not offended by bad language, blood, sex (obligatory, consensual, illegal, etc), drugs (illegal, etc), blood, guns, violence, and blood - then order this one. If any one or a combination of those features disturb you, you'll miss out one heck of a good book; but you don't dare risk it. There are enough folks like me to amp up the sales.

I am astounded that this is a first book and I am glad that there is ample opportunity for this to be a series. Don't worry though, this is a complete book in itself. Keep writing, Adam.
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Format: Paperback
An abrasively-told story using multiple first-person points of view, with the reader having to determine who the speaker is. The problem is heightened by the use of initials rather than names to identify characters. Fortunately the task becomes easier as you get into the book. The several main characters are quite well described and quite unique. The fun comes from the fact that no one in the story is a typical person, and the descriptions help to create a wonderful mental image of each person. I would call this a graphic novel with words used to define the graphics. The action takes place in New York City, and familiarity with the layout would be helpful in appreciating some of the humor, but the reader's enjoyment doesn't require geographic knowledge. A glossary at the end provides some assistance for the reader in dealing with acronyms, but it isn't necessary for understanding, It just adds to the knowledge. This is a fun book to read, just don't be set off by the early chapters.
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Format: Kindle Edition
Welcome to New York City and the Second Great Depression. Everywhere you look, there is death, destruction and drugs. Crime is rampant and an underground party circuit has evolved to sate the needs of the depressed citizens. Enter the NYPD’s CAB unit – the Citywide Anticrime Bureau. But will a handful of detectives in beat up old taxicabs be enough to save the city from the influx of drugs and crime lords? It’s up to Detective Sixto Santiago and his partner Everett More to find out.

Rivers of Gold is filled with some of the oddest and most interesting characters I’ve read in a long time. Renny is a fashion photographer by day, drug runner by night. If he can keep making enough money selling drugs at night, he can continue his leisurely quest to shoot the photos he likes, when he likes. For me, his voice is the prominent one, although equal time is given between himself and Detective Santiago.

While Renny was sometimes hard to like – he can be a bit of a womanizer – I liked Santiago almost from the start. He had a rough childhood but didn’t let it hold him back nor did he let him lead him down the wrong path. He’s constantly conflicted when it comes to his job because his new partner continually crosses the line between what he thinks a cop should and shouldn’t do.

Everett More, Santiago’s partner, is like nothing I’ve ever read before. Even after having finished the book, I’m not sure whether I like him or not. He was over the top, a little scary and downright odd from the moment you meet him. Something that nagged at me in regards to the series is that they’re referred to as the More series and yet, More’s point of view isn’t one you get to see at all during the novel.
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Format: Hardcover
Rivers of Gold, by Adam Dunn, is almost believable for a futuristic police novel. Almost. My main problem accepting the premise was the time period: the future was altered too much too soon. If Dunn had chosen 2023, ten years after this novel's present, I would have far less problems believing the economic mess New York has become. Once I got over that, however, I had no trouble buying into the greed and crime culture Dunn gives us.

The novel has a slow takeoff. It seems as if the first half, almost two thirds, of the story is devoted to giving us the required history lessons, network setup and character introduction. I almost get the feeling there are more books planned for this version of NYPD. Real police work can be like that, however. Long boring surveillance and background investigations until a break finally come along. Once the story takes off, however, buckle up and hold on: it is a real action packed story.

Despite the extended introductions, some of the characters still come off as flat. Oh the central characters are fully fleshed out for us, but some important secondary players are not so well done. New York City is a multilingual city and many of these secondary characters spoke something other English. Sometime the expressions were translated and other times they were not and the meaning was not subject to being figure out through context clues. In Losers' Club, many of the characters used Hispanic slang so Richard Perez, the author, included a short glossary to help non-Spanish speakers follow what was going on. This would have been even more helpful here.

Without giving away too much of the story, I think the author did not begin hitting his stride until the end of the story.
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