Mario Puzo is the absolute master of gangster novels. His ability to create gritty, realistic Mafia families and characters is at a level that is second to none. A departure from the Corleone family, this time the Mafia family are Clericuzios, primarily based in New York but branching out their operations to Las Vegas and Hollywood in an attempt to find legitimacy. Don Domenico Clericuzio has given this task to his nephew Cross De Lena. Cross brings his street instincts and Mafia sensibilities to these locales.
Anytime I read a Mario Puzo novel, I’m always struck by his professionalism and the quality of his prose. As a fellow writer, I have nothing but respect for his ability and try to emulate him when possible. The prose in this novel is at the same level of excellence that I have come to expect. The world building and characterization is top notch. The novel is a bit slow at times, and doesn’t have the same level of intrigue as the Godfather. All the same, it has a strong build and a satisfying ending. If you like gangster novels, this is definitely a book that you will want to read.
Carl Alves – author of Blood Street