A story of organized crime in early-1990s Kansas City from thriller writer Reynolds (Brush Creek Charlie, 2012).
Tommy Galluccio leads the feared Galluccio crime family with the same unforgiving Mafioso attitude that his Uncle Angelo once possessed. Tommy is a traditional Mafia kingpin: He loves cigars, loyalty and crime. Though the Galluccio family sticks their fingers in many illegal pies, their source of power comes from a controlling interest in the Teamsters union. When the federal government decides it wants to crack down on Teamster activity, Tommy takes drastic action. Though his revered Uncle Angelo warned him not to incite too much violence, Tommy orders the murder of a federal agent sent to investigate organized crime in Kansas City. Hit men gun him down in a lively section of Kansas City, leaving witnesses and further trouble for the Galluccio family. As Tommy works to maintain control of his empire, the bullets fly and the blood flows in ways that imitate the notorious days of Uncle Angelo’s reign. Drawing on a host of mobster clichés, from nicknames like Frankie Bonecutter and Bobbie Crusher to tough-guy lines such as “He took the money now and asked questions later,” not much seems to be added to the organized crime genre. Characters outside of the crime circle do not offer much in the way of originality. The story’s detour to New Orleans suffers from dialogue that mimics a travel brochure from the 1950s: “The restaurants and museums are terrific”; “This parade is really a sight to see.” Peppered with violence and explicit sex (“Blessed with a long tongue like a slithery serpent, he entered her fleshy pink moistness.”), the story rolls on, the mobsters kill, and regular people who often talk like robots and have expert oral sex are sometimes affected.
Hard-core Mafia fans will appreciate the frequent gunplay, but both the mobsters and their victims do little to distinguish themselves from the long list of similar characters in the lengthy tradition of the genre.