Tuesday, October 15, 2013


This is sort of an odd book.  It's funny in places, especially as it features a bunch of not-so-wise guys from Wilmington, Delaware.  But then it's deadly serious in others, with a family man striving to go straight, and a butcher of a serial killer on the loose in Brooklyn.  You don't know whether to laugh or cry.

Frankie Donovan and Nicky Fusco have been lifelong friends.  They and their families and the other people in their part of Wilmington are close, and when Donovan's father dies, all of them show up for the wake and the funeral, all the women bearing food of course.  Fusco served ten years in prison and has turned his life around for his beloved wife and daughter, and for himself.  Unfortunately, the old friends and neighbors are more likely to remember him as he was before.

Donovan is now a homicide detective in Brooklyn, but when he comes home for his dad's funeral, his presence brings out all the old grudges and suspicions about everyone.  It's like walking on eggs as everyone tries to honor his parents while avoiding offending anyone.  Meanwhile, in Brooklyn there is a serial killer on the loose, one of the worst villains I've read about in years.  Donovan needs to get back to work.  He is delayed because his brother-in-law gets killed, conveniently just after Donovan has tracked him to a bar and beat him up badly.  The law likes Donovan for the murder.

The two plot lines are interesting and so are the characters but for some reason I just couldn't get into this book.  Some of the details were too much of a stretch for me, and some of the characters were more like caricatures of gang leaders and their enforcement types, and the "wise guys."  All in all the book was disappointing, but I can't say it isn't worth reading.

Verdict:  Good, not great
Source:  Partners in Crime Book Tours

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