THE WOLF by Lorenzo Carcaterra


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After a terrorist attack on a plane kills his wife and two daughters, mob superboss Vincent "The Wolf" Marelli unleashes a plot against terrorist networks with the support of crime syndicates from around the globe.

Thirty-two-year-old Vincent's most formidable partner is the strikingly beautiful and lethal Angela "The Strega" Jannetti, heir to the throne of the Italian Camorra syndicate in Naples. The two were like kissing cousins as teenagers, when Vincent spent time in Italy. His most feared opponent is the unhinged Islamic terrorist Raza. The Wolf is also opposed by the terrorist-funding Russian mob, led by Vladimir "The Impaler" Kostolov, and Mexico's evil drug lords. Vincent may be as coldblooded a killer as anyone, but he's a devoted family man. He envisions having his revenge and then leading a normal life with his young son, Jack. Finding out who killed the rest of his family, however, proves more difficult than he anticipated. While the notion of a United Nations of gangsters has a certain Avengers-like appeal, anyone looking for the slightest bit of complexity or subtlety will be disappointed. It's not enough for Carcaterra (Midnight Angels, 2010, etc.) to say the Camorra is "one of the most vicious criminal outfits in the world" and that Angela killed a dozen rival mob bosses by putting rat poison in their dinners. He also has to describe her as "powerful and deadly" and "the most vicious gangster in Italy and one of the most powerful in Europe." And, oh yes, "she had a dark and sinister side."

Things blow up early and often in Carcaterra's new thriller, but it's too simple-minded to be much fun.


Pub Date: July 29th, 2014
ISBN: 978-0-345-48394-2
Page count: 320pp
Publisher: Ballantine
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1st, 2014


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