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On a winter night in a Bronx neighbourhood, a blow from a shovel fells a man in the street. From the scene flee six children, any of whom might have loosed the fatal strike. Weeks later, one of their fathers is executed for the crime.

Four decades on, the Ryer Avenue gang gathers again: Megan Magee, Charley and Eugene O’Brien, Ben Herskel and Dante D’Angelo; the group is missing only Willie Paycek, the little hanger-on who never fitted in. But now that fatal blow is about to come crashing down upon them – and this time, Willie is calling the shots.