Read Blind Man's Alley Online

Authors: Justin Peacock

Tags: #Mystery, #Family-Owned Business Enterprises, #Fiction - Espionage, #American Mystery & Suspense Fiction, #Real estate developers, #New York (N.Y.), #Legal, #Fiction, #Suspense, #Legal Stories, #Thriller

Blind Man's Alley

BOOK: Blind Man's Alley
4.03Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
Also by Justin Peacock
A Cure for Night

To Melissa–still and again


Other Books by this Author
Title Page

Part One

Chapter 1
Chapter 2
Chapter 3
Chapter 4
Chapter 5
Chapter 6
Chapter 7
Chapter 8
Chapter 9
Chapter 10
Chapter 11
Chapter 12
Chapter 13
Chapter 14
Chapter 15
Chapter 16
Chapter 17
Chapter 18
Chapter 19
Chapter 20
Chapter 21
Chapter 22
Chapter 23
Chapter 24
Chapter 25
Chapter 26
Chapter 27

Part Two

Chapter 28
Chapter 29
Chapter 30
Chapter 31
Chapter 32
Chapter 33
Chapter 34
Chapter 35
Chapter 36
Chapter 37
Chapter 38
Chapter 39
Chapter 40
Chapter 41
Chapter 42
Chapter 43
Chapter 44
Chapter 45
Chapter 46
Chapter 47
Chapter 48
Chapter 49
Chapter 50
Chapter 51
Chapter 52
Chapter 53
Chapter 54
Chapter 55

Part Three

Chapter 56
Chapter 57
Chapter 58
Chapter 59
Chapter 60
Chapter 61
Chapter 62
Chapter 63
Chapter 64
Chapter 65
Chapter 66
Chapter 67
Chapter 68
Chapter 69
Chapter 70
Chapter 71
Chapter 72
Chapter 73
Chapter 74
Chapter 75
Chapter 76
Chapter 77
Chapter 78
Chapter 79
Chapter 80
Chapter 81
Chapter 82
Chapter 83
Chapter 84
Chapter 85
Chapter 86
About the Author
“Blind Man’s Alley bears its name for a reason. Until little more than a year ago its dark burrows harbored a colony of blind beggars, tenants of a blind landlord, old Daniel Murphy, whom every child in the ward knows, if he never heard of the President of the United States. ‘Old Dan’ made a big fortune—he told me once four hundred thousand dollars—out of his alley and the surrounding tenements, only to grow blind himself in extreme old age, sharing in the end the chief hardship of the wretched beings whose lot he had stubbornly refused to better that he might increase his wealth.”
—Jacob Riis,
How the Other Half Lives


three hundred feet in the air when the floor gave out beneath them. The floor crumbled into pieces; it stopped being floor. Instead it was a mass of disintegrating concrete, collapsing in a groaning roar.

How do you run when there’s nothing beneath your feet? The mind screams flight, but the body cannot follow. There was no more than an instant of this, a failed scramble against collapse.

There were three of them working out near the building’s edge, their legs kicking uselessly in sudden free fall. There was a safety net below, but they were past its reach, unlike a dozen of their fellow construction workers who would emerge from the accident injured but alive. For these three, there was nothing for twenty-five stories to stop their fall, no possible sanctuary from gravity’s remorseless pull.

Kieran Doyle, Dmitri Szerbiak, and Esteban Martinez: they weren’t men New York City had ever noticed. The first time their names would ever appear in a newspaper was in the wake of their deaths. Doyle was the only one of them born in the States, growing up in Hell’s Kitchen back in the neighborhood’s last days as a rough Irish neighborhood, before gentrification turned it into an extension of Midtown. Szerbiak had immigrated as a child from Poland; Martinez, an illegal, had come from Honduras in his early twenties, made his way into the union with a forged social security card.

They were all three experienced at construction. The work they did was hard and dangerous under the best of circumstances, and it’d long been clear to all of them—to everyone on site—that the building of the Aurora Tower was not the best of circumstances. Not with the dizzying speed with which one floor climbed above another, the cracks in the settling concrete, the various shortcuts taken in the upward dash. There’d been plenty of talk among the crews: talk of bringing a grievance to the union, talk of going to the bosses with a list of demands, even talk of walking off the job.

But the time for talking was over, at least for talking that might have kept what happened from happening. Of course, there’d be plenty more talking in the accident’s wake: there’d be investigations, lawsuits, headlines, but for these three men it would all be so much useless aftermath.

How quickly an entire mass of concrete could turn itself into rubble and fling itself to the ground. The deep rumbling roar grabbed the attention of everyone in earshot, filled their minds with panicked thoughts of what such a sound could mean. New Yorkers kept the echo of the Trade Center clenched within them, always ready to bloom when a steam pipe exploded or a crane fell, the urban cacophony now shaded with a darker menace. Nearby pedestrians fled the noise before they even understood what was happening. But for Doyle, Szerbiak, and Martinez, there was no place left to go, just a mad jumble of whooshing air and rattling debris, spilling them out into the falling sky.

BOOK: Blind Man's Alley
4.03Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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