Three construction workers are dead. The concrete floor three hundred feet up in the controversial Aurora Tower condo development in Soho collapsed, hurling them to their deaths. The developer, Roth Properties, the family-owned fiefdom of the famously abrasive Simon Roth, faces a vast tangle of legal problems, including allegations of mob connections and governmental improprieties -- i.e., bribery. The New York Journal has published insinuating articles on the incident that Roth has decided are libelous. The huge midtown law firm of Blake and Rubenstein, Roth's longtime counselors, is assigned the lucrative task of setting things right, and much of the work lands on the plate of a smart, cynical and seasoned associate, Duncan Riley. As a result he falls into the disconcerting orbit of Leah Roth, the beautiful and uber-competent daughter of Simon Roth and the designated inheritor of his real estate empire. Meanwhile, Riley pursues a small (he thinks) pro bono case in which he attempts to forestall an eviction of Rafael Nazario and his grandmother from public housing in the wake of a pot bust. One night Rafael is picked up and charged with the murder of the private security cop who busted him. The murder took place in another controversial "mixed income" housing development being built by . . . Roth Properties. Richard Price and Tom Wolfe, move over. You've got company.
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