Bingo Square: Money!
Anton Waker grew up making money illegally. His parents deal in stolen goods and, with his cousin Aria, Anton has made a lucrative business supplying false passports and social security numbers to illegal immigrants. But he wants out of the family business. He’s ‘gone straight’ at a desk job, working his way up through the company, and about to be married. His seemingly ordered world falls apart when a routine background check at work shows his college diploma is as fake as the passports he once supplied. Then Aria blackmails him, and he’s back for one last payday. All he has to do is hand over a package while on his honeymoon, and he’ll be out for good.
Along with Anton, we also get a little of Aria’s point of view, as well as Elena, who was once Anton’s secretary but is now forced to inform against him or be kicked out of the States. Alex Broden, the detective on the trail of people traffickers, wants what Anton knows, and uses Elena against him. It all comes to a head when the drop goes wrong and someone ends up dead.
This took me a while to get into but once I did I enjoyed it. I think I struggled because Anton is so hard to like. Not that you need a likeable lead but he’s sort of just there, going through the motions, for much of it, as others act around him. I didn’t enjoy being in his head, because he seemed so benign. He loved his cat. He got married for…I don’t know what reasons. It was hard to relate to a lot of the decisions he made. It should be obvious what’s going on with his work after they discover his lie but he just keep showing up and going along with it? The stronger parts were when we followed Elena, although she too feels like she has little agency. Still, it was intriguing enough and the ending mostly paid off.