Gangsterland
Tod Goldberg

Book cover image

Narrated By: Johnny Heller

Duration: 10 hours and 30 minutes

What to expect

Sal Cupertine is a legendary hit man for the Chicago Mafia, known for his ability to get in and out of a crime without a trace. Until now, that is. His first-ever mistake forces Sal to botch an assassination, killing three undercover FBI agents in the process. This puts too much heat on Sal, and he knows this botched job will be his death sentence to the Mafia. So he agrees to their radical idea to save his own skin.

A few surgeries and some intensive training later, and Sal Cupertine is gone, having disappeared into the identity of Rabbi David Cohen. Leading his growing congregation in Las Vegas, overseeing the population and the temple and the new cemetery, Rabbi Cohen feels his wicked past slipping away from him, surprising even himself as he spouts quotes from the Torah. But the Mafia isn't quite done with him. Soon the new cemetery is being used as both a money- and body-laundering scheme for the Chicago family. And that rogue FBI agent on his trail, seeking vengeance for the murder of his three fellow agents, isn't going to let Sal fade so easily into the desert.

Gangsterland is the wickedly dark and funny new novel by a writer at the height of his power—a morality tale set in a desert landscape as ruthless and barren as those who inhabit it.

Genre

Crime and mystery fiction, Thriller / suspense fiction, Crime and mystery fiction

Listen to a sample

“This darkly funny crime novel showcases Heller’s comedic and narrative skills, with hit men, mobsters, and FBI agents loose in Las Vegas.”

Booklist (starred audio review)

“As sharp as a straight razor. But a lot more fun. Count me a huge fan.”

Lee Child, #1 New York Times bestselling author

“Harrowing, funny, wise, and heretical, Gangsterland is everything a thriller should be.”

T. Jefferson Parker, New York Times bestselling author

Gangsterland is rich with complex and meaty characters, but its greatest strength is that it never pulls a punch, never holds back, and never apologizes for life’s absurdities. If this novel were a person, you could ask it for a bookie.”

Brad Meltzer, #1 New York Times bestselling author

“Infinitely readable, infinitely funny, and infinitely better than anything else you’ll read this year!”

Craig Johnson, New York Times bestselling author

“In his plotting, dialogue, and empathy for the bad guys, Goldberg aspires to the heights of Elmore Leonard. For those who miss the master, Gangsterland is a high-grade substitute.”

New York Times

“The story is at its best when it’s mocking our unquestioning acceptance of whatever morsels of wisdom our leaders decide to feed us…Gangsterland…is a modern story, written for readers who like their imaginary characters to live in the real world.”

Los Angeles Book Review

“A cleverly spun novel that forced me to abandon my wiseguy moratorium. Goldberg has an amusing flair for contemporary hard-boil, and he knows his crime and crime-fighting procedures.”

Las Vegas Weekly

“Goldberg’s new book is clever bordering on wise, like Get Shorty on antacid.”

Los Angeles magazine

“The Mafia plus the Torah makes for a darkly funny and suspenseful morality tale…[Goldberg] can spin a good yarn.”

Millions

“Goldberg injects Talmudic wisdom and a hint of Springsteen into the workings of organized crime and FBI investigative techniques and makes it all work splendidly.”

Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“Sal’s transformation—and intermittent edification—into Rabbi Cohen is brilliantly rendered, and Goldberg’s careening plot, cast of memorably dubious characters, and mordant portrait of Las Vegas make this one of the year’s best hard-boiled crime novels.”

Booklist (starred review)

“Clever plotting, a colorful cast of characters, and priceless situations make this comedic crime novel an instant classic.”

Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

“A wholly unique tale from a wholly unique voice.”

Gregg Hurwitz, author of Hellbent

“Tod Goldberg has long been one of the most interesting writers around, and Gangsterland is his biggest and best book so far.”

Thomas Perry, author of the Jane Whitefield series

“Just when you thought the mafia novel was dead, Tod Goldberg breathes new life into it. Gangsterland, the best mafia novel in years, is a dark, funny, and smart page-turning crime story. It’s also a moving, thoughtful meditation on ethics, religion, family, and a culture that eats itself. I loved this book.”

Sara Gran, author of Claire DeWitt and the Bohemian Highway

Gangsterland is Tod Goldberg at the height of his hilarious and incisive and hell-bent powers as a writer of who we are and what we thought we wanted and how we tried to stay alive in America—if we were insanely funny and contemplative hit men. No one does Vegas, the desert, money, and mayhem like Goldberg. I stayed up six nights in a row reading, unable to put this book down because I couldn’t wait to see how he’d play each card.”

Susan Straight, author of Between Heaven and Here

“Let’s get this part out of the way: Gangsterland is a thriller, and provides a crackling good read for any fan of the genre. But the truth is, to call this book merely a thriller is inaccurate. It’s also a whip-smart comedy, a sublime morality play, and a gleefully blasphemous investigation of what and why we worship. There’s something for everyone here. Just make sure you set aside a good chunk of time, because once you start reading you won’t want to stop.”