The Strange Death of Father Candy

Les Roberts. Minotaur, $24.99 (288p) ISBN 978-0-312-56633-3
Set in 1985, this disappointing suspense novel from Roberts (The Chinese Fire Drill) falls flat with a stagnant plot and uninspired characters. When Vietnam veteran Dominick Candiotti returns to his hometown of Youngstown, Ohio, for the funeral of his beloved older brother, Richard, a Catholic priest whose death was ruled a suicide, Dominick’s refusal to believe his brother would commit suicide rattles the warring Severino and Mangione mob families. Dominick, who had his fill of bloodshed in Vietnam, finds his hometown even more violent than when he left. Widespread corruption affects everyone from the cops to a lowly pizza maker. Even Richard may have been overly cozy with the mobsters. Too often, boring stories about Youngstown’s violent history, family memories, and Diane Burnham, Dominick’s first love with whom he reconnects, interrupt the action. Dominick’s grief doesn’t elicit sympathy, and this angry man makes a poor substitute for a hero. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 09/19/2011
Release date: 10/01/2011
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