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For Nothing (An Upstate New York Mafia Tale Book 1) Kindle Edition
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I happened across this author through twitter. I found my feed frequently naming `For Nothing' as a exceptionally good read.
I should also add that I read this more than a month ago and it was seeing further reviews that have prompted me to follow suit. I don't usually provide reviews, but there's always room for an exception...so here we go.
Taking a note of the ebook price, I opted to download rather than read an overview or reviews of readers. Usually you'd be ill-advised to do this, but I took a gamble, based purely on the tweets I'd read.
This book is one of mobsters, the good ole fashioned, gun totting lunatic, set (roughly) in present day Buffalo, New York A note here: The Nicholas Denmon doesn't use Americanisms too often, which as a Briton I found refreshingly pleasing. I could have easily assumed this was a British author.
The first chapter uses the standard formula of setting the scene. Here we're given instant drama at a steady but by no means slow pace. Picture film noir, long dark shadows, even shadowy characters, cigarettes and naturally guns, more guns and the occasional blade.
The author begins to introduce additional characters to the plot. Always healthy if like films, we're damned sure many will face certain death by a bullet firmly wedged somewhere about their body.
Our mobsters take on the characteristics often presented on the silver screen too. Real men, hard, dark, moody, partial to a drop or two of a good spirit and dressed in the all important Italian suit and with the obligatory hat...naturally. Our bad guys are heavy smokers too, but this is mob-land, and where mobsters go, you can be sure a smoking induced cackle will follow.
It is during this scene setting, we are introduced to our protagonist, an estranged 30 something, who lives for the job, hard working and loyal; seemingly alone in a city run by mobsters.
Not to fret, we're given a generous handful of other good guys as they do battle to bring a semblance of order to Buffalo. But is it too late, with a mob war on the horizon, which when it gets going, bullets are sure to start flying.
Kept on their toes, with never a mention of a doughnut, we're given an antagonist, the assassin. On a note here, I found the attention given to our assassin to be so warm, I began to feel deep sympathy for him; especially his loneliness with a tender sprinkling of love found then lost. He trusts few, very few but does develop friendship with people most of us would find rather unsavoury until we stop to think even hardened mobsters have fears.
This book continues to entertain, we're also given a good few laughs too, or perhaps moments that my darker sense of humour found to be laugh-out-loud-able.
This book is a stonker like books of old, the type that become classics in their own right, usually becoming a high profile film.
The author is without doubt an entertainer of the greatest literary sense. You are in for a real treat.
Who could I compare the author with, I couldn't say. As mentioned this is a whole new genre for me, one that I am now keenly hooked on.
Go buy this book, I'm off to download the next instalment while preparing a semi-lit room, complete with a steaming hot cup of coffee and a pack of 20 smokes, and already overflowing ashtray.
Enjoy, you'll be asking for more!
The central core of this story is about one such undercover cop seeking revenge against the assassin that killed his best friend. But the environmental surrounding is rich with betrayal, violence, and vengeance.
In addition to Alex Vaughn’s hunt for the infamous killer, Rafael Rontego, the reader gets a fly-on-the-wall perspective of the complexities of mob rivalry. It’s an ugly story beautifully described.
Alex has given up his personal life as an undercover cop, and regrets it. Rafael’s ego pushes him slap bang in the middle of rival mob clans. Alex’s hunt for the killer of his friend achieves the same end. And both must fight for their survival – from the mob organisations, and from one another.
With crooked cops thrown in, and intense all-round rivalry, demarcation lines keep getting redrawn. Thus, trust is a rarity; Suspicion and duplicity are rife.
This is fast-paced, exciting and… a recommended read!
So this book has a great opening "hook" and it didnt take me very long to get immersed into the story. I love that the lines between good and evil are blurred here - you may well start off rooting for one character and end up with a complete turnaround by the end of the book. Twists and turns along the way keep you turning the pages and the finale is extremely good and will leave you wanting more...
I loved Rafael - Not sure I was supposed to but I did. And this is a well written, flowing tale of murder and mayhem with great characterisation, well rounded and fleshed out so you can really get to know them. The backdrop of Buffalo, NY is well described and the author has a great sense of place.
So all in all thoroughly enjoyable - if time allows I shall certainly be reading the next in the series and if you havent read this type of fiction before you may well want to start with this one.
Happy Reading Folks!
Alex Vaughn, a New York police officer, saw his friend's murder and wants revenge. So he goes undercover in order to infiltrate the crime family in Buffalo he believes responsible.
Rafael Rontego is the mafia's hit man and the two men are on a collision course.
There's lots of action, suspense and tension and the insight into the workings of the underworld is detailed and interesting if somewhat scary.
The chapters are written from the point of view of two characters which works well. The ending is a cliff hanger leading onto book two..
I was really surprised to learn this is a debut novel, the writing is so good. The details and descriptions make the story jump off the page, very visual and the characters are intriguing and decidedly believable.
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