An orphaned boy in a mob family tries to lead an honest life, while his cousin is seduced by the family business.
The title of this chilling novel suggests multiple ironies since the book portrays ethnic and mob violence in the city of brotherly love, bloody disputes within the labor and crime brotherhoods, and betrayal between two cousins who have been raised as brothers. Both Peter and Michael are sons of union officials, and the violent deaths of both fathers leave harsh legacies. Peter turns to the discipline of boxing and retains a sense of decency, but Michael's inner weakness makes him arrogant and cruel. As these diverging values lead to mutual destruction, the plot comes full circle. Dexter, National Book Award winner for Paris Trout , is adept at portraying those on the fringes of the mob who are sucked into its fury. His characters are unsavory but convincing, his action vicious but all too plausible. Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 6/1/91.
- Albert E. Wilhelm, Tennessee Technological Univ., Cookeville
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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