The Letter Writer- A Novel by Dan Fesperman
February 1942: Woodrow Cain arrives in New York City from a small North Carolina town having left behind a wife (who’d abandoned him), a daughter, and a career as a police officer marred by questions about his possible complicity in his partner’s murder. A job in the NYPD gives him what he hopes will be a new beginning, and it’s on the job that he meets a man called Danzinger. Dressed like a “strange old mystic,” Danzinger nonetheless has the manners of a man of means and education and speaks five languages. And he can help Cain identify the body just found floating in the Hudson River. But who exactly is Danzinger? A writer of letters for illiterate immigrants on Manhattan’s Lower East Side, he has seemingly boundless knowledge of the city and its denizens. And he seems to know much more than he’s telling Cain: not just about the identity of the dead man, but about the how and why of his death, and how it puts Cain–and perhaps his daughter and the woman he’s fallen in love with–in harm’s way. But even Danzinger can’t see that the more he and Cain investigate, the nearer they are to the center of a web of corruption, abject cynicism, and possibly traitorous activities from which they may never be able to extricate themselves.