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Malfi (The Fall of Never) draws on the experiences of his Secret Service agent father, who infiltrated the Irish gang known as the Westies decades earlier, for this plodding crime thriller. Secret Service agent John Mavio seeks to bring down two violent gangsters, Jimmy Kahn and Mickey O'Shay, in New York City's Hell's Kitchen. To do so, Mavio poses as a fellow crook interested in buying counterfeit money from Kahn and O'Shay, the latter, despite a long track record of bloodshed, having avoided jail even after a police officer witnessed one of his murders. Will Mavio be able to overcome Kahn and O'Shay's suspicions to get evidence to prosecute them? Few readers will care, given the predictable plot and ponderous prose (e.g., "Manhattan has a way of leading its occupants to certain destinations without said occupants necessarily realizing he or she has been led"). (Sept.)Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.