Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Review: The Wolf by Lorenzo Carcaterra

The Wolf is the second novel I've read by Lorenzo Carcaterra. For those unaware of who he is, he wrote Sleepers. It was turned into one Blockbuster of a movie starring Brad Pitt, Kevin Bacon, Robert De Niro... and a few others. Suffice it to say, the movie was AWESOME! and so was the book. The Wolf doesn't quite compare, but it is still a worthwhile read.

Mob boss Vincent "the Wolf" Marelli is reeling from the loss of his wife and two daughters after a "terrorist" attack leaves them dead. He plans to avenge their deaths by taking out the people responsible. Vincent has a handle on who's calling the shots and declares war on the opposing crime families. With muscle from partners in his criminal enterprise, Vincent begins piecing together who may have put out a hit on his family.

While The Wolf moves at lightning speed, there is a constant tension for readers as they zip across the world with Vincent and take note of the dead bodies that pile up. The pace is good and the action is constant. There's no shortage of villains or suspects.

As I got further into the book I started to realize my gripes (which is a good thing... early on gripes lead to DNF's). My biggest gripe was the fact that all the characters seemed one dimensional and caricatures or what a mobster may behave like. Vincent, thankfully, doesn't always fall into this category because he narrates most chapters, but his descriptions of his fellows in crime made me wonder if a new breed of Mobster, Gangster, or Criminal Organization can evolve. Are they all just Joe Pesci ripoffs?

One other minor gripe is that The Wolf seemed to focus too much on terrorism. I wanted to know more about the inner-workings of the Marelli crime syndicate. Finding out how they funnel their dirty money into any country's infrastructure is something worth reading about. I wanted more of this instead of a reminder course on the amount of terrorists willing and ready to sacrifice their lives for religion.

Anyway, The Wolf is a fast read full of intrigue with a few curveballs thrown in for good measure. There are moments when readers will think they have it all figured out but are nowhere close to the answer. Lorenzo Carcaterra doesn't seem to be done with this anti-hero so I look forward to reading the next Marelli novel. In the mean time, I'll have the DVD of Sleepers to keep me entertained.  ***

Copy provided by Random House via Netgalley

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