Sleepers – Lorenzo Carcaterra

sleepersSet in NYC’s Hell’s Kitchen in the 1960s, the details in this book are so vivid you feel as if you are with the four boys at the heart of the story.  The boys are lifelong friends, kings of their domain, engaging in petty pranks until one disastrous afternoon when something goes horribly wrong, and they find themselves sentenced to a year in prison at the Wilkinson Home for Boys.  At Wilkinson, they are subjected to brutal beatings, unimaginable humiliation, and worse.  Years later, one is a lawyer, one a reporter, and two professional hit men.  They all dream of revenge.  To exact it, they twist the legal system with the help of a sympathetic priest, and commandeer the courtroom, in a sensational murder trial that stirs up all the ghosts of the past.  The author published this book as a work of non-fiction.  Although the names were changed, he claimed everything in the book was true.  Carcaterra’s account of events has never been verified, but it doesn’t matter because this is a sensational read either way.

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