Bestselling author Charles Belfoure gave a talk last Tuesday night at the Glen Cove Public Library about his second novel, House of Thieves. Belfoure said the new novel is being considered for development as a Netflix series.
Belfoure told attendees that the inspiration for his second novel, House of Thieves was George Leslie, who left a privileged Midwest upbringing for New York City to become an architect during the so-called “Gilded Age.”
But what got Leslie into history and to be the inspiration for Belfoure’s novel was not his honest labors as a society architect, but his second life as a sociopathic bank robber.
“He liked being on the evil side, being the criminal, he liked robbing things and associating with the criminal underworld,” said Belfoure.
The protagonist of Belfoure’s book is also an architect, John Cross who gets drawn into a life of thievery as a result of his son George’s gambling debts. Belfoure said that through the course of his exploits “the father comes to enjoy being a criminal,” like George Leslie.
The novel also offers readers a glimpse into late 19th century New York and the different classes of wealth, old and new. This gets contrasted with the 30 thousand homeless kids “roaming the streets,” according to Belfoure.
Belfoure said that before the talk he spent time touring the local history, such as Welwyn and the Pratt properties.
Attendees also asked about his first book about a Paris architect during Nazi occupation, and Belfoure shared a funny encounter with presidential candidate Donald Trump.
Editor’s Note: Special Thanks to Marissa Lee Damiano for her help on this article.