richard PRICE’S lush life inhabits the characters and speech of the lower east side of 2003, a “candyland of a neighborhood” with a potent mix of wealthy young transplants, immigrant owned bodegas, drug pushers from the projects and plenty of booze. the gritty story centers around a homicide that occurs late in the night after some young, drunk males are mugged. the case looks bleak as most witnesses appear to have been too drunk to be reliable. typical of price, the dialogue between the detectives, victims, and perps bursts from the pages rendering a crackling portrait of the people and streets of lower new york complete with its terror, grief, indifference, and gallows humor. the book lurks up and down the blocks of the les and the cavernous basements beneath cafe berkmann a restaurant blending the history of the neighborhood with its tenements and synagogues now inhabited by upscale dining options and condos.