Billy Bathgate ---E.L. Doctorow
Billy Bathgate is a 1989 novel by author E. L. Doctorow that won the 1989 National Book Critics Circle award for fiction for 1990 and the PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction, and was the runner up for the 1990 Pulitzer Prize. The story is told in the first person by Billy "Bathgate" Behan, a fifteen-year-old boy who first becomes the gofer and then surrogate son of mobster Dutch Schultz.
The title character is a poor and fatherless teenager growing up in The Bronx. Billy and his friends are in awe of the flashy mobsters in the neighborhood. Dutch Schultz and Otto Berman, based on the real-life mobsters, hire Billy as a gofer and become mentors to him. The gangsters take Billy up to their upstate hideaway, where they are awaiting a trial. Schultz becomes a community leader and converts to Catholicism. Billy works his way up but begins to question his actions when he falls in love with Dutch's moll Drew, whom Dutch plans to have killed. Billy is sent to Saratoga Springs with Drew to keep an eye on her. They act as a couple in Saratoga. He realizes that she is to be killed and calls her husband in New York City to come and rescue her.
After Schultz is acquitted, prosecutor Thomas Dewey brings up more charges and the gang goes into hiding. This time they are in Union City, New Jersey. While Billy is visiting the gang to give them updates on Dewey's routine, unnamed gangsters come in and kill everyone except Billy and the bartender. Billy goes back to Schultz's hotel room and takes all the money from his safe.