I came across the audio version of this story for a few bucks. I really had no idea who Mario Puzo was (I had no idea he was the person behind the Godfather). I thought the narrator of this version, Joe Mantegna, was very fitting as he is the voice of the Mafia leader Fat Tony on the Simpsons. I had always enjoyed a good crime themed story, so I picked it up.
The book is about a retired Mafia Boss, Don Aprile, who is taken out in a professional hit. Don Aprile left behind 3 kids with no knowledge of the business and a seemingly innocent and legit nephew named Astorre, who the Don raised since the age of 2. After the hit, the Dons children and nephew begin to question the circumstances of the murder, such as the lack of surveillance on the Don at the time of the murder and why it took place. The nephew begins to investigate the murder on his own, trying to find the killers of his Uncle. However, as with many great stories, nothing is as it seems to be. The ones who are supposed to help you are really trying to bring you down. The ones who want you dead suddenly become your strongest allies.
I found the story to be an excellent suspense story. While the plot is a bit predictable, the details were a surprise. I was riveted, trying to figure out who ordered the hit, who was on the side of the Dons family, and who were the ones trying to eliminate the family, and why this whole thing happened as the Don was no longer an active player.
Overall, I thought this was one of the best fiction stories I had read (or as this was the audio version, heard). The various aspects of the plot, suspense, misdirection, love, sacrifice, and others were prepared and mixed like a recipe for a fine dish. The result is a work of art that is much better than the individual components. If you are looking for a classic mafia story or a great crime themed suspense novel, I would highly recommend this book.