Heather Graham on New York City and Flawless
by Heather Graham, author of Flawless
I love New York! That’s a common statement, of course (and serves as a slogan). Millions of people who don’t call it home—and might not even have the slightest desire to call it home—still love New York. It’s truly one of the grandest cities in the world. Theater in New York, fashion, shopping, art, museums, music—people-watching!—are all fascinating. The financial world runs on Wall Street. Immigrants have come to the city since the beginning of American history, and it’s truly as diverse in population as any place could be.
For me, a lot of the appeal is its history. Originally, New York was New Amsterdam, and the Dutch and English took part in a tug-of-war through some tense years. And don’t forget, Washington indeed slept there, and Alexander Hamilton (subject of a play sweeping Broadway as I write this!) is buried at Trinity Churchyard. The “Five Points”—with only a few remnants of the actual buildings still remaining—referred to a neighborhood where Civil War draft riots were once put down, where the Irish became cops before they were allowed in most restaurants and where the city once held a frontier as wild as anything in the West.
New York is modern, pulsing, thriving. Its past is always racing ahead to the future. Where the old towers once stood, great new architecture now soars into the sky—with Trinity and St. Paul’s beneath, monuments to years gone by. Downtown—Lower Manhattan—is absolutely enthralling to me. You can also find real treasures in some of the other old churches—and a few “hidden” graveyards.
The city, of course, is immense. Central Park stands in true homage to the brilliance of city planning. Times Square…
What can I say? People—not always sure what they’re looking at—gather there to look. The neon, in all its brilliant colors, throbs. Hawkers sell comedy, theater, music and more.
You can also spend a day touring the Village—finding trendy shops, new-age musicians with shaggy hair and guitars, artists and more—treading streets where the great master, Edgar Allan Poe, often wandered as the terrors he set on the page wandered around in his mind. If the fancy strikes you, you can head on up to the Bronx and visit Poe’s Cottage, where the author’s beloved Virginia died and where he lived until his death.
For me, downtown is just a favorite area. Which is why Finnegan’s on Broadway is the locale (and local!) in my new novel Flawless. It’s a family-owned pub, the kind of establishment that’s been welcoming people forever. The Finnegan siblings come from a long line of Irish-American New Yorkers; they love their city and their pub. I admit that I’m drawing heavily on my mom and that side of my upbringing. Many of the characters in this series of books are lightly based on people who were or are real. My mother immigrated to NYC. Her stories always remain in my heart, and certainly, so do the charm and craziness of those relatives!
Finnegan’s is known for great Irish hospitality, for devoted old friends and for welcoming new ones.
I hope you’ll enjoy my fictional pub and my story—and be inspired to see a bit more of New York!
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There’s a pub in New York City that’s been in the Finnegan family for generations. Now Kieran and her three brothers own it. Kieran Finnegan is also, as it happens, a criminal psychologist—a fitting reaction, perhaps, to her less-than-lawful teenage past.
Meanwhile, New York’s Diamond District has been hit by a rash of thefts. No one’s been killed—until now. FBI agent Craig Frasier is brought in to investigate; he and Kieran meet at a jewelry store in the middle of a heist. She’s there to “unsteal” a flawless stone taken by her light-fingered youngest brother as an act of vengeance. Craig’s there to stop the gang.
But the police and FBI begin to wonder if there are two gangs of diamond thieves, the original and a copycat group of killers—who seem to think their scheme is as flawless as the stones they steal.
Thrown together by circumstance, drawn together by attraction, Kieran and Craig are both assigned to the case. But to Kieran’s horror, there’s more and more evidence that, somehow, the pub is involved. Because everyone goes to Finnegan’s…