Today Amazon offers Mafia Summer: A Novel by E. Duke Vincent just for $1.99
Hell’s Kitchen in the summer of 1950 offers a ripe setting for a rousing crime novel, but Vincent’s debut is stilted and amateurish compared to category classics. Against the backdrop of a mob war between real-life gangsters Frank Costello and his challenger, Vito Genovese, we meet 18-year-old protagonist Vinny Vesta, leader of the Icemen, a street-gang of “five Sicilians, one black, and an Irishman.” With the blessing of Vinny’s father, Gino, a caporegime in the Mangano family, the boys embark on a string of minor capers. Soon, they’re double-crossed by troublemaker Gee-gee Petrone, and fatalities result when the Icemen attempt to turn the tables. (Vinny’s steamy affair with a gorgeous 29-year-old hatcheck girl ends abruptly when she winds up dead in a Dumpster.) To flesh out Vinny’s sensitive, intellectual side, Vincent also hangs the story on the narrator’s friendship with his Jewish neighbor Sidney Butcher, a sickly bookworm who improbably tutors Vinny in art and literature and even takes him to synagogue. Though TV writer and producer Vincent has researched his crime history, the novel’s awkwardly shifting point of view, anachronisms and cartoonish violence make for a frustrating read. — Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc.
Some words about the Author
E. Duke Vincent grew up in New York and New Jersey. A TV writer and producer, he joined Aaron Spelling in 1977 at Spelling Television, where he is currently executive producer and vice chairman. His credits include the series Beverly Hills 90210, Melrose Place, Dynasty, Hotel, Vega$, Charmed, 7th Heaven, and Clubhouse. His TV movies include the Emmy Award-winning Day One and And the Band Played On.
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