The Sunday Macaroni Club

Steve Lopez, Author, Lopez, Author Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (HMH) $33 (384p) ISBN 978-0-15-100264-1
Expertly mixing Runyonesque characters with contemporary headlines, this follow-up to Lopez's solemn debut (Third and Indiana) is an unexpectedly funny tale of Philadelphia politics at the gritty street level. ADA Lisa Savitch, a fiery beauty, has relocated to the Philadelphia DA's office with an edgy attitude that inspires her to chainsmoke before her morning runs. Her anger is due, in part, because her stint in the Boston DA's office ended when her failed relationship with a prosecutor exploded on the front pages of the tabloids. Now partnered with ex-FBI agent Mike Muldoon, she is assigned to get the goods on the Sunday Macaroni Club, an old time South Philly political machine led by Augie Sangiamino, a former U.S. senator, and his two cronies, state representative ""Ham"" Flaherty, who's running for Congress, and Judge ""Izzy"" Weiner. Savitch also wants to nail Liberty Oil, a local corporation believed responsible for an upsurge in leukemia among neighborhood kids. The fun starts when Flaherty's opponent comes out against Liberty, and Liberty CEO Whit Pritchard starts funneling money to Augie's cohorts through Joey Tartaglione, Augie's bag man and driver. In this corrupt world, everyone has an agenda, but ward bosses like Augie, who does what he can to serve his constituents, and hoods like Joey, who can act out of friendship and loyalty, have a raw nobility that is never granted to the cold corporate criminals of Liberty Oil. Lopez, a columnist for the Philadelphia Inquirer, creates an idiosyncratic yet believable milieu in which political dinosaurs uneasily coexist with sleek corporate snakes. It's an eye-catching zoo, and Lopez proves an expert keeper. 50,000 first printing; $50,000 ad/promo; author tour. (June)
Reviewed on: 06/02/1997
Release date: 06/01/1997
Genre: Fiction
Analog Audio Cassette - 978-1-57511-025-7
Paperback - 978-0-670-86311-2
Mass Market Paperbound - 368 pages - 978-0-451-19723-8
Mass Market Paperbound - 384 pages - 978-0-452-28138-7
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