Happy Tuesday! Today is pub day for Button Man, an engaging historical thriller by Andrew Gross and published by St. Martin’s Press.  My first book by Gross, I own his others and need to read them. And now after reading Button Man, and I can easily say I NEED to read them!

My Thoughts:

My first book by Andrew Gross, Button Man will not be the last of his books I read! 

Three brothers are living on the Lower East Side of Manhattan in the early 1900s when their father passes away. Each chooses a different path in life. Morris becomes an apprentice in a clothing factory at a young 12-years-old. Sol is studious and eventually becomes an accountant. Harry is pulled into the Jewish mob. 

Morris is a grade school dropout and works his way up the ladder in the garment business until he is able to buy out the owner, and Sol eventually joins them there as en employee. As much as they try, Sol and Morris cannot get Harry to leave the prestigious mob life behind. 

Eventually their “work” lives intersect when the mob boss gets involved with the garment unions. How will the brothers resolve this dangerous confrontation? 

Button Man appealed to me for many reasons. It is a historical thriller, and I’ve not read many of those. I figured the history part would be easier, but would it truly be thrilling? It absolutely was! 

Button Man is also a story of family, and those are always among my favorites. Here the family dynamics had a historic backdrop with the depression, growth of the garment business, and proliferation of the mob. 

An atmospheric and compelling tale, Button Man is the story of a family in the pursuit of the American Dream. Three brothers, each with their own paths, have the same ultimate goal. Will they find success, and at what cost? 

This book is inspired by Gross’ grandfather’s life. The author’s note is not to be missed. 

Thank you to the most generous St. Martin’s Press for the ARC. All opinions are my own.


Morris, Sol, and Harry Rabinowitz grew up poor but happy in a tiny flat on the Lower East Side, until the death of their father thrust them into having to fend for themselves and support their large family. Morris apprenticed himself at twelve years old to a garment cutter in a clothing factory; Sol headed to college and became an accountant; and Harry, the youngest, fell in with a gang as a teenager and can’t escape. Morris steadily climbs through the ranks at the factory until he’s running the place and buys out the owner, and Sol comes to work with him. But Harry can’t be lured away from the glamour, the power, and the money that comes from working for mobster Louis Buchalter, an old bully from the neighborhood. And when Louis sets his sights on the unions that staff the garment makers’ factories, a fatal showdown is inevitable, and puts brother against brother.

This new novel is equal parts historical thriller, rich with the detail of a vibrant New York City in the 1920s and 1930s, and family saga, based in part on Andrew Gross’s family history, and will cement his reputation as today’s most atmospheric and original historical thriller writer.

Have you read Button Man, or is it on your TBR? Have you read any other books by Andrew Gross? Happy Reading! ~ Jennifer THR