by Jack Kelly

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Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Following Apalachin , Kelly's well-received debut offers an equally gritty, timely thriller about a Mafia hit man. Set up by his boss, hoodlum Sal Veronica barely escapes execution. He kills his attackers and makes a deal with the Feds: Sal will testify against his capo and start a new life in the federal witness-protection program. Resettled in an unnamed Midwest city, Veronica, now called Vincent, joins real estate salesman Ted Reed, a very straight citizen, in developing Ted's longtime dream, a retirement community. The new company seems on the way to success until a combination of factors--a local gangster, labor goons and, not least, Sal's inveterate womanizing--brings disaster. Kelly effectively juxtaposes Sal's life in suburban middle-America against his former career as a ruthless New York Mafioso, seen in flashbacks. Readers may wish for deeper characterization (especially of Sal, an interestingly flawed anti-hero) and for more details in the last scene, depicting justice, Mafia style. But the book's brisk pace, clever plot twists and ear-perfect dialogue provide a very satisfying read. (Aug.)

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Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
7.00(w) x 5.00(h) x 1.00(d)

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