Dale crafts a world of ruthless characters who unfortunately lack the necessary interiority to engage the reader’s sympathies. Danny and Jocelyn’s relationship is treated somewhat as a romance, but it’s tumultuous and occasionally violent, and readers may find it hard to cheer the lovers on. Moments that provide insight into Jocelyn’s motives (such as needing money to send her younger sisters to college) are welcome but rare. Nearly every character is a murderer, a backstabber, or an abuser, and the protagonists employ disturbing racist language. However, the willingness of many characters to betray one another or change sides adds memorable twists and strengthens the plot.
Keeping track of who’s who is difficult in this sprawling story, which spans multiple generations with interrelated narratives and tangled backstories. It’s peppered with flashbacks, memories, and lengthy monologues about the past, and is most compelling when the characters’ histories tie into their present-day actions. The plot itself is frequently gripping, and fans of the mob genre will appreciate the scenes of bloody action.This thriller will hook readers looking for a twisty story full of characters they’ll love to hate.
Takeaway: Family drama, violence, and a femme fatale make this thriller appealing to fans of mafia stories.
Great for fans of Dennis Lehane’s Live by Night, James Patterson’s Don’t Blink.
Design and typography: B-
Marketing copy: B+