From Library Journal: "Lopez's second novel, a fascinating study of election maneuvering set in contemporary Philadelphia. Former U.S. Senator Augie Sangiamino, convicted of abuse of office and now a South Philadelphia ward boss, strikes a deal with a local oil refinery to obtain campaign money for his two candidates. However, the refinery emits benzene that is causing leukemia in children. Assistant D.A. Lisa Savitch and former FBI agent Michael Muldoon attempt to bag both the oil company and Sangiamino for pollution law violations and election fraud. Lopez's story displays numerous twists and turns, and the comparison between the old politics of the ward boss and the new politics of corporations, lobbyists, and politicians is arresting. However, the author is at his best with character development, without going over the line to caricature. " Stephen L. Hupp, Univ. of Pittsburgh at Johnstown, PA Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc. --
Entertainment Weekly, Rhonda Johnson: "Lopez ... makes his bid to join the Carl Hiaasen school of journalists-turned- crime-fiction novelists with this affable romp.... Lopez cooks up a respectable tangle of greed and corruption."
This is one of those books that actually makes you feel for the characters. It revolves around a small-time politician and his devoted assistant/henchman. The tone it's written in, and the blend of humor and pathos will make it a very special experience for anyone who reads it. I read it three years ago and still remember scenes and lines in it. I wish Steve Lopez would write more books.