“The sacred gets the stuffing kicked out of it by the profane in this wild and sometimes-shocking novel.”— Kirkus Review
“Offbeat doesn’t begin to describe Goldberg’s impressive sequel to 2014’s Gangsterland. […] Goldberg provide[s] a satirical look at the superficial aspects of affluent American life. […]Fans of clever mixes of dark humor and violent crime by authors such as Elmore Leonard and Carl Hiaasen will be pleased.” — Publishers Weekly
“Not only religion but family (what is the mafia if not a family?) and community are dissected in Goldberg’s sharp satires, which also happen to be excellent crime novels.” — LitHub
“Written with humor and the same type of dark, up-close-and-personal style of dialogue that Don Winslow is known for, Goldberg also mixes in some eyebrow-raising historical facts about how criminals (of all types, but especially gangsters) have shaped and changed America throughout the country’s history. A touch better than its predecessor (Gangsterland), Goldberg’s latest novel is a bold and daring adventure that hits hard early on and never lets up. The story twists and turns its way to a surprising ending, setting things up nicely for the planned third and final book in the Sal Cupertine trilogy, The Death of a Gangster. ” — The Real Book Spy
“One can’t help but think of such greats as Mario Puzo, Jimmy Breslin, Elmore Leonard, and Donald E. Westlake while reading this witty, brutal, vital book. Goldberg is a master, expertly building upon the grim goings-on of Gangsterland, merrily pursuing plot points set up there to their logical, wicked ends. And, as if the impressive buildup of tension weren’t sufficient, he ends the current installment on a cliff hanger of truly epic proportions, setting up what appears to be the forthcoming and final installment of the Gangster trilogy. This reviewer is already getting itchy, waiting for that welcome denouement.” — Mystery Scene Magazine
“Fans of Elmore Leonard will quickly devour Tod Goldberg’s latest novel, “Gangster Nation.” […] [T]his worthy follow-up sees Goldberg fine-tune his signature mix of dark humor, violent crime, Talmudic wisdom and suburban satire.” —Orange Coast Magazine
“Gangsterland was compelling in every way, and in Gangster Nation, its sequel, Tod Goldberg has written an enthralling portrait of consequences—emotional, physical, moral, you name it. Amid all the expertly choreographed violence and intrigue is a moving, thought-provoking story about the fluid nature of identity, spirituality, and love. I enjoyed every page.” —Vu Tran, author of Dragonfish
“Gangster Nation is a razor. It will slice you open and reveal your insides. And like the best of Tod Goldberg’s work, it’ll show you everything you are at your core.” —Brad Meltzer, New York Times bestselling author of The President’s Shadow
“Gangster Nation punches even harder than the excellent Gangsterland did: against the backdrop of 9/11, everybody’s roughed-up and bleeding, and nobody’s hiding it well. Tod Goldberg’s weird world is getting The Sopranos-good, and The Sopranos-funny: he can hit you high, low, or straight in the gut. Meshugener wiseguys. It’ll make you a better killer—and a better rabbi.” — Bill Beverly, author of Dodgers
“Sal Cupertine is back —and better than ever. I love this guy.” —Lee Child
“Tod Goldberg’s brilliant Gangster Nation is hilarious, complex, and a total page-turner. It’s also a little insane, in the best possible way.” —Lisa Lutz, New York Times bestselling author of The Passenger
Gangster Nation is the much anticipated sequel to the wickedly dark, Hammett Prize Finalist Gangsterland, an unexpected, page-turning examination of the seedy foundations of American life.
It’s been two years since the events of Gangsterland, when legendary Chicago hitman Sal Cupertine disappeared into the guise of Las Vegas Rabbi David Cohen. Now, in September of 2001, everything’s coming up gold for David—but Sal wants out. He only needs to make it through the High Holidays, and he’ll have enough money to slip away, grab his wife and kid, and start fresh.
Across the country, former FBI agent Matthew Drew is now running security for an Indian Casino outside of Milwaukee, spending his off-time stalking members of The Family, looking for vengeance for the murder of his former partner. So when Sal’s cousin stumbles into the casino one night, Matthew takes the law into his own hands—again—touching off a series of events that will have Rabbi Cohen running for his life, trapped in Las Vegas, with the law, society, and the post-9/11 world closing in around him.
With the wit and gritty glamour that defines his writing, Goldberg traces how the things we most value in our lives — home, health, even our spiritual lives — have been built on the enterprises of criminals.