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Why did the head of a Naples Mafia family wind up dead on a Blackpool street?

The Volvo runs over the old man, then backs up and runs over him again. Then a man gets out of the car and pumps two bullets in the victim’s head for good measure. Mark and Rory, teenage thugs who’d just committed three muggings and tried to make the old man their fourth before he brandished his walking stick and chased them off, watch in stunned silence, then turn to run when the shooter aims at them. Rory goes down and Mark takes off, setting in motion a cat-and-mouse chase. Who’ll find Mark first, the killer or DS Henry Christie of the Lancashire Constabulary's Force Major Investigation Team? FBI agent Karl Donaldson gets involved when the car victim turns out to have ordered a hit three years ago that not only eliminated rival Mafiosi but dispatched an undercover FBI plant as well. Torture prevails as the killer stays a step ahead of the good guys until Donaldson realizes there’s more treachery at play here than the usual crime-family vendettas.

Oldham (Seizure, 2010, etc.) can out-plot and out-grisly most of his hard-boiled brethren, and he proves a dab hand with the intricacies of male sexual proclivities. He could, however, use a brush-up tutorial in American slang. 

Pub Date: Feb. 1st, 2011
ISBN: 978-0-7278-6964-7
Page count: 224pp
Publisher: Severn House
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1st, 2011


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