The Irish that newspaper legend Jimmy Breslin grew up with are fewer in number today. But the injustices that made Irish immigrants and their children tabloid underdogs remain. Now, though, the underdogs come from Mexico. Men like Eduardo Gutiérrez who, in 1999, gruesomely drowned in three feet of concrete at a Brooklyn construction site.

Breslin gives this incident brilliant treatment in "The Short Sweet Dream of Eduardo Gutiérrez" (Crown). This is Breslin's look at the unseemly world of New York buildings corruption and cheap labor. At times tragic, at times poignant and (since Breslin is writing) at times hilarious, Breslin captures the dark side of the freewheeling 1990s. "

Short Sweet Dream" sent him to Mexico five times. Breslin attended Gutiérrez funeral, and talked with friends who also moved to Brighton Beach, Brooklyn. What emerges is an immigrant's odyssey, which begins with a coyote (immigrant smuggler) and ends in tragedy. ($22, 208 pages, Crown)

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