THE POPE OF GREENWICH VILLAGE by Vincent Patrick
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THE POPE OF GREENWICH VILLAGE

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KIRKUS REVIEW

A comic Mafia heist novel set in Manhattan's food-oriented Little Italy (not in Greenwich Village). The title refers to hero Charlie Moran, an Irish-Italian who got his nickname as a kid and still has it at age 35 -- he's steward of the Good Times restaurant and lusting for a little country inn of his own. Trouble is, Charlie owes the loansharks, his 21-year-old mistress (yoga, dancing, high cuisine) is pregnant, and he's into his worst losing streak at the track -- so he's at that point-of-no-return where he must make his move or remain forever broken-in-spirit. Enter Charlie's larcenous little-boy cousin Paulie -- a waiter at Good Times who has located an easily burgled safe in a trucking warehouse. And then Paulie contacts Barney, a 56-year-old clock-repairman/safecracker in the Bronx who's going blind and needs a last bundle to tide over his wife and retarded adult son. So the heist is on -- but when a cop arrives during the big knockover and falls down an elevator shaft, the three heisters discover that they've lucked into an enormous payoff from the Mafia to the cops! In no time, of course, they're being hunted by absolutely everyone -- in a not-very-original plot that is forever turning aside for glorious digressions into restaurant lore and cultural anthropology among the hoods. With a boost from marvelous street dialogue that's realer than real, it's a familiar but irresistible caper spiced with oregano, fate, and lower-Manhattan brio.

Pub Date: Oct. 31st, 1979
Publisher: Seaview-dist. by Simon & Schuster