Book Review: The Gallery of Missing Husbands, Lawrence J. Epstein
Although this story reads beautifully, it is difficult to review The Gallery of Missing Husbands, by Lawrence J. Epstein. First, it is short, so it is necessary to write delicately so as not to give anything critical away here. Second, it is dense, with many interlocking pieces.
The atmosphere can be compared to an old black-and-white, film noir movie, featuring an ethnic New York City neighborhood, tenement housing, people struggling to get by, and people with something to hide. This is where protagonist Daniel Levin lives,renting a room from a retired, elderly rabbi and his wife, in their own apartment. Daniel doesn’t need to live here. He could move back to his comfortable family home, except that he hates his father and can’t bear to be near him.
Daniel Levin is a lost soul searching for … what? He’s not sure what. Meanwhile, he gets a reputation for solving local mysteries. One day, he sees someone fall from the roof of a building, namely Ezra Kaufman. Mr. Kaufman is known to be a successful psychic, someone who can find men from The Gallery of Missing Husbands, which is a list of men who have disappeared. Once Daniel determines that this is a murder instead of a drunken accident, he promises Mr. Kaufman’s widow and sister-in-law that he will find the killer.
The mystery is now afoot, and author Lawrence Epstein weaves a cunning tale, where no one is who they appear to be, and everyone’s got secrets. No one is more surprised than Daniel with the story’s finale.
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