top of page
crane - 2_edited.jpg

The Junkman

by Martin C. Goldin

Anchor 1


David Rosen had it made—loving wife, two kids, flourishing career in Manhattan in the newly booming software industry. After reluctantly agreeing to return South for a short stint to help fix accounting irregularities in the family business, David is plunged into a nightmare. On a steamy afternoon in July, 1993 in Mobile, Alabama, business is as usual at Rosen Iron & Metal Co. when heavily armed FBI agents invade the junkyard and arrest David and his father, Nate, for rigging scales. Sifting through the accusations, David uncovers buried secrets surrounding his family’s rise from rags to riches. Childhood memories suddenly flood back, triggering new meanings to old doubts.


David and Nate, confronted with racketeering charges and 30-year sentences, are pursued by a ruthless lawman nearing the end of a decorated career. David sees his legal problems take turn after turn for the worse, and in dire need of a defense attorney, hires local legend Lenny Knight, a cynical lawyer beyond his prime, in a late-life affair with the bottle.


Bible-spouting AUSA Richard Hood and his ambitious, young assistant Wendy Williams comprise the prosecution team, hell-bent on a big win. It shouldn’t be hard, according to their boss, Jameson White, to convince an Old South jury to put away a well-heeled Jewish defendant—a New Yorker, no less—accused of swindling the public.


The Government’s star witness is Michael Shoen, a violent thug and Nate’s longtime right-hand man, now out to save his own hide and settle a score with David.


As the trial approaches, rules are broken on both sides, evidence is fabricated, witnesses are strong-armed and bribed. David’s eyes are pinned wide open to the specter of a system gone mad, of lawmen and lawyers remorselessly putting their thumbs on the scales of justice. Dead bodies start stacking up, and meanwhile at home, David’s marriage is quickly coming unraveled.   


The Junkman unforgettably captures the disillusions of a devoted son on trial for his father’s crimes, redefining the notion of the family ties that bind.



“The truth has nothing to do with anything, absolutely nothing.”

Lenny Knight, Esq.

Behind my Buick, a cameraman shouldering his camera waited at the Channel 13 news van. Parents with kids in team uniforms milled around, anxious to see what the story was about. The dense mob swelled exponentially when I arrived on the scene and reached into my pocket for the key fob. The little red light on the TV camera came on. The lens zeroed in, and the reporter, an old high school classmate, emerged from the news van and thrust a microphone to my mouth. I chirped the door locks open and pushed the bill of my cap up. 


“Mr. Rosen, what can you tell us about FBI search warrants executed at your junkyards today?”

“Brad, it’s been a really long day. How about moving your van? You have me blocked.”

. . . . . 

The WALK signal flashed a third time, and I contained my despair long enough to make it across the intersection to a white monument with burnished letters that read John Archibald Campbell United States Courthouse. Two American flags drooped over the main entrance. My mind flickered back to my last night at home before the start of the trial, tucking the kids into bed. I remembered picking the Cabbage Patch doll off the floor and putting it safely back into Rebecca’s arms with the realization that I could no longer assume I’d be able to see her every day, or anywhere near it. The last thirty months since leaving Manhattan had dragged on forever, yet now they seemed gone in a blink.

. . . . . 

I was exceeding the maximum dose of everything I was on. My constant requests for early refills turned my internist to lecturing me on moderation. So, I was down to my last sleeping pill, which I accidentally dropped down the sink. 

. . . . . 

​Like an ancient performer coming to life as the curtain lifted, Lenny strode to the front of the jury box and commenced orating in perfectly cadenced prose, without notes, in a conversational tone that felt like the jury was visiting with him in his living room. With flawless timing, stroke by stroke, precisely, painstakingly, he painted a picture of the Government’s case from a palette of plain-spoken, polished phrases, purposely leaving parts of the canvas bare for the jury to fill in for themselves.

 . . . . . 


I stared at my father, a man with a fraught history, a macher in the dog-eat-dog world, a colossus to his family. All he had ever wanted was for his children to have it better than he had. I pictured Nate not as he was now, lying in bed barely able to speak, but as the immigrant boy with an attitude, who came to this country without his twin. I kissed his cheek and stood at his side, with a feeling that every second was a precious thing, that time was now the enemy.



Long before returning to his first love, writing, Goldin worked in his family’s scrap metal business, the backdrop of The Junkman.  Drawing on a lifetime of personal experiences, Goldin crafted a fast-paced legal thriller set in the Deep South.


Born in 1955 in Biloxi, Mississippi to an immigrant father and a homemaker mom, Goldin attended public schools before entering Tulane University. Despite his dream of becoming a novelist, the day after graduation, with a BS in Psychology, he headed home to work in a two-acre junkyard located on the other side of the tracks from downtown Gulfport.


Fifteen years later, the family business—now three large recycling plants in different states, with over 400 employees—was raided by a horde of FBI agents. Shortly after, Goldin, his father,

and two brothers, were indicted for mail fraud, money laundering, and RICO, charges usually reserved for mobsters. An eight-week trial in 1996 in federal court in Mobile, Alabama, followed where, with strong signals of antisemitism embedded in the prosecution, all four defendants were acquitted on all charges.


The Junkman started out as a memoir but evolved into fiction, a story of generational reckoning. Unusual for a legal thriller, the novel is narrated by the defendant, protagonist David Rosen, a man with his own path and own views of the South, of family, and of right and wrong.


The father of four, grandfather of six, Goldin presently enjoys a rewarding career in real estate development, working side by side on a daily basis with his son, Ryan, while writing his second novel.


The Immigrant Landlord

For 30 years, smalltime property owner Meyer Green fares well in Meridian, Mississippi. Then in 1962, the city fathers and local ministers, having grown tired of “instigators from the North” continually stirring things up, launch a boycott against Jewish merchants. Initially unaffected by the persistent racial tension, Meyer continues his rounds, knocking on front doors of his one-room apartments to collect the weekly rent.

The Fair Housing Act of 1968, however, delivers stark notice to Meyer that the landscape is about to change. His solution: hire the local arsonist to methodically torch the rentals, one at a time, collect the insurance, and retire to the Promised Land, Miami Beach. What Meyer doesn’t bargain for is a tenant getting killed. And the only lawyer willing to represent him is a young, African-American woman from D.C. who has never tried a murder case.


Contact Jennifer


For inquiries, please contact agent Jennifer Powers:

News and Events
bottom of page