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Inevitably this is going to be compared to The Last Hurrah to its disadvantage. For here is another portrait of a ward politician on the way out. But only so far is there any basis for comparison. Look at this rather as a dovetailing of past and present in the story of a crook, a despicable human being, and his relations, not so much with the sycophants who fear his power and seek his monetary advantages, but with his family, the women he married- and those he took; the sons he fathered; and the dastardly way in which he used his power and his money. The story is told in counterpoint, with the day of his funeral, hour by hour, interspersed with the story of the past. What starts as a clever trick of interlocking,- before the close- and the meshing of past and present- becomes artificial and annoying. The three sons come clear and credible:- the eldest, Liam, who has found one cannot escape one's heritage into goodness; Kevin, illegitimate and fighting to prove himself better than others despite it- almost as much of a despicable character as his hated father; and John Calvin, the youngest, who had early dared to choose his maternal grandparents rather than his father. It is a not too pleasing portrait of Irish-Americans- lace- curtain down the social scale to the ward heelers. Despite all the counts against it, the story holds interest and the writing sustains Mary Deasy's reputation.

Publisher: Doubleday