"Riveting, completely absorbing and with an ending I won't forget. Highly recommended." - E. Harris (★★★★★)           "There’s something for everyone here: intrigue, espionage, love, deceit, despair. The novel runs the full extent of the emotional landscape and everyone within it is affected once the wheels are put in motion... A wonderfully fulfilling read and an excellent offering by a first-time author." - Kat Kennedy, author of Flamingo Funeral & Tales from the Land of Tea Cakes and Whiskey (★★★★★)           "A book you will savor word for word!" - Jacqueline Roche, producer and on-air personality, Pawling Public Radio (★★★★★)           "This book just doesn’t stop. From the first page to the last, I found myself tumbling through an accelerating world of espionage, romance; coincidence at its most absolutely consequential... An easy 5 stars." - Katherine Parsons (★★★★★)                 "There is a nostalgic feel to the work, despite it only being set a few short years ago, one which gives it the grandeur of the past at the same time as dealing with the real human issues of present daily life... A must-read for fans of unique literary character study." - KC Finn (★★★★★)                 "Contains more twists and turns than The Guggenheim. Not only are the lives of the main characters at risk but also many of the shocking surprises in the novel are almost heart-stopping to read." - Susan Alpert (★★★★★)                 "A never ending adventure that kept me enticed the whole time" - Veronica Ouellette (★★★★★)                 "Finegan writes in prose that is exciting and atmospheric and knows how to develop backstory without distracting readers from the main plot points... I loved the way the author 'shows' rather than 'explains' the elements of the conflict. Cooperative Lives is a novel that is very interesting, infused with realism and humanity." - Romuald Dzemo (★★★★★)                 "Does not miss a beat as he shows the good and bad that can be found in a co-op... Definitely recommend reading." - Janet Oberman (★★★★★)                 "A superb big city/small neighborhood story. I really, unexpectedly, enjoyed this book!" - S. Quick (★★★★)                 "Best of all is the development of the characters... [Their] opinions, thoughts, and perspectives are included, giving each a unique place and role in the work... Cooperative Lives ... is skilfully written with its believable characters, suspenseful scenes, and gripping events. - Edith Wairimu (★★★★★)                 "Difficult but best book I've read in years of massive reading" - Chretien (★★★★★)                 "A talent for description and realistic storytelling... An enjoyable literary title" - Dr J Reads (★★★★★)                
A reader expects so much more from literary fiction than from its less culturally evolved siblings. And not just in the quality of writing. One expects more depth, more complexity, more resonance, more beauty. One expects, and deserves, a novel like Cooperative Lives... [I]f you are looking for a book to savor, to appreciate the writing as much as the story line and plot, to satisfy your love for words as much as existential observations or distractions, look no further.
Whereas most books begin in a status quo and introduce their conflict to the initial detriment of their characters, this book holds all of its cards from the very first page and forces the reader to pay rapt attention as it lays each one of them down in turn. What seem like challenging but mundane moments in life soon become so much more, whether in linear progression or as the story makes time hops months or years into the past. The story itself unfolds in a similar fashion, beginning with a pair of couples who used to socialize before death, divorce, and unemployment separated them. It then grows to include suspense, intrigue, danger, and espionage without deviating from its core cast of characters... Written with all the passion and flourish of a love letter yet with all the calculation and clockwork of a crime novel, Finegan’s novel is a fascinating slice-of-life that rings true even as it attempts the fantastic.
Patrick Finegan's luscious novel Cooperative Lives follows characters whose lives change when they are brought into close proximity with each other through a series of coincidences, accidents, and international espionage... The story moves forward and backward in time with ease, teasing forth details and offering clues about a deeper underlying story and tangled interconnections. The addition of an international conspiracy makes it tempting to turn pages at a rapid speed, but masterful prose, marked by evocative phrasing and apt metaphors, encourages savoring each exquisite sentence and its imagery... There's much to relish and ponder in this tragicomedy. Ambitious and sophisticated, Cooperative Lives is a diverse and gorgeous tapestry of character studies and is a pure delight to read.
Finegan’s writing is incredibly evocative... However, it is in his characterisations where [he] really excels... [E]ach person is given a distinct voice and identity, making it not only easy to work out who is speaking, but also makes the reader genuinely care about these characters. The reader is able to see both sides of a situation and can empathise with the people in it, becoming impartial observers in a way...
Cooperative Lives begins quite slowly but gradually builds momentum to a shocking climax... Maybe not one for those who like their novels fast-paced, but Cooperative Lives is a well-written, character-driven thriller which will keep readers hooked.
An intricate and intriguing tale with a lot of plot twists and details hidden in plain sight... The people in this story are well-drawn, each with their own fully-developed personality – and their individual personality quirks together drive the plot, demonstrating the author’s gift for truly elegant plot design. This is the sort of book that rewards, indeed perhaps requires, reading more than once in order to catch all the little details and plot points one may miss on a casual reading... Cooperative Lives is a complicated but beautifully engineered book, with its intertwined secrets, interacting lives, and the carefully-woven story that emerges from them.
A deliciously rich, intricate plot... The story has everything I look for in a fiction novel; espionage, intrigue, tension, corruption and a fantastic display of real human behavior... Overall, this is a perfect example of character interaction and development.
Set inside a post 9-11 New York City, the sadness and distrust of these characters rise off the page. Finegan gives each character, however minor, heft, with backstories and quirks that deepen the plot, as well as exploring varying facets of the human condition. He is a gifted wordsmith, crafting sentences that are rich and multilayered, which propels the story along beyond the intricacies of the plot. A rare work of literary fiction that also shines as a mystery and a thriller, Cooperative Lives offers a brilliant exposé on the shattered nature of modern lives.
Finegan writes with authority and grace... [He] avoids clichéd stereotypes for his fascinating cast of characters, with each exhibiting strengths and weaknesses as they navigate the ins and outs of their daily lives – their layers of armor stripped away until there’s nothing left but raw emotion fed by love, hate, and the subtleties in between... [A] masterfully written work of literary fiction, Cooperative Lives gives readers an incisive look at ordinary people being blindsided by the uglier side of life, and does so with beautifully evocative prose.
An intricately plotted, well-written tale. Finegan's style is clean and straightforward. His characters are imperfect and easily relatable people who experience the peaks and valleys that inform all lives... Strong on both character and plot, it’s most likely to be enjoyed by readers drawn to intelligent writing.
Happenstance, serendipity and luck dominate as the lives of characters crash against one another like pinballs in Patrick Finegan’s Cooperative Lives. A novel that perfectly captures the unscripted events and coincidence of real life, where you can do your utmost best, and it’s never quite good enough... A powerful, chic and evocative read, Cooperative Lives proves a superb début for Finegan and a must-read for discerning readers of top-notch literary fiction. It is recommended without reservation.

A landmarked midtown Manhattan address. Carnegie Hall and Central Park at your feet. Three hundred units. Thirty-two full-time employees. Five hundred neighbors. You’ve hit the big time. Joined the elite. But what do you know about them, the neighbors? Have you ever met them? Really engaged with them? Or do you gaze down in the elevator, the same way you do on the subway and the street?

Oh sure, you’ve heard a famous writer lives on the fourteenth floor, a retired US senator on the eighteenth. You’ve witnessed so many Broadway impresarios glide through the lobby you’ve lost count. But what about your real neighbors – the couple in 7H, for instance, or the family in 8B? Did you know they once harbored the most wanted fugitive in America?

No? It was in the papers for weeks; nearly tore the co-op apart. Even that famous writer on fourteen got involved. And all because an M7 bus side-swiped a resident-shareholder while turning down Seventh Avenue.

You’re busy? Oh, I’m sorry. Just thought you should know something about the co-op’s history. And buy more insurance, lots more; I’ve got a friend named Stanley.

From the Preface
It is perhaps unorthodox to declare a story which transpired 6-8 years ago in the country’s largest metropolis historical fiction but labelling it otherwise would be a deception. The election of a bilious talk show host to the world’s highest office, the NSA-sponsored surveillance, cataloging and storage of millions of Americans’ phone logs and recordings, the petulant, self-imposed withdrawal of Great Britain from the EU, the global contagion of anti-immigrant nationalism – no pundit could have predicted these developments in 2013. And no one would have believed him.

I intended this book as a work of contemporary fiction. It described, I think accurately, the city and world I lived in. Just six years have elapsed since its completion, but I might as well have described ancient China. The world and New York City of 2013 no longer exist. I hereby present, for better or worse, the world’s most contemporary historical novel.


Publication Information
  • Publication Date: 21 March 2019
  • Format: Hardcover, Paperback and eBook
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-13:
    • 978-1-7339025-2-6 | IngramSpark hardcover - cloth bound with jacket - 6x9" trim - 474 pages
    • 978-1-7339025-0-2 | IngramSpark paperback - 5x8" trim - 348 pages
    • 978-1-7339025-1-9 | IngramSpark e-book
    • 978-1-0908936-3-5 | Kindle Press paperback - 5x8" trim - 348 pages
    • 978-1-7339025-3-3 | Kindle e-book

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