Blue Eyes Book Summary
Blue Eyes reads like a gritty exposé of New York City in the 1970s. Corruption, greed, family ties, and questionable loyalties abound. Manfred Coen is loyal to his mentor, Isaac Sidel, and weakened by the town whore, Odile. But where others' loyalties lie is constantly evolving.
Coen, through a series of twist and turns and changing family allegiances, is thrust into the dirty world of ping-pong hustling and human trafficking. Young girls are being sold, but even that storyline isn't as black and white as it sounds.
Although this is the first Isaac Sidel mystery, Isaac is not a main character. Yet, he manages to be the force behind much of the story. Just enough of his character is revealed to entice the reader to want to know more about him, especially since his sphere of influence is so large.
So much was going on with this story and so many characters introduced, I was often confused. If I had time, I'd definitely want to re-read and catch the nuances of the many characters and sub-plots. Each character was ultimately crucial to the story, but similar sounding names (Chino, Coen, Cesar, Chinaman) and changing references (sometimes Manfred, sometimes Coen, Freddy?) left me overwhelmed.
About halfway through, I finally had enough background to really connect with the story. Once I did, it was a fast and engaging ride. Don't give up early on.
I recommend this book to readers who enjoy crime and mystery novels that are no-holds-barred. You'll be mesmerized by Charyn's well-crafted world and story.
Rating: 3.5 stars
(It will be rated a 4 on GoodReads and Amazon, since it's closer to a 4 than a 3 and only full stars are allowed.)
Blue Eyes Book Trailer
About Jerome Charyn
Jerome Charyn (born May 13, 1937) is an award-winning American author. With nearly 50 published works, Charyn has earned a long-standing reputation as an inventive and prolific chronicler of real and imagined American life. Michael Chabon calls him “one of the most important writers in American literature.”