Felonious Monk

William Kotzwinkle. Blackstone, $26.99 (316p) ISBN 978-1-0940-0925-4
Tommy Martini, the quick-tempered 26-year-old narrator of this nimble comic thriller from Kotzwinkle (The Fan Man), has spent five years in a Mexican monastery repenting the death of a young man he killed in a barroom fight during college. When word comes that Martini’s retired parish priest uncle, Vittorio, is on his death bed, Martini pays the old man a final visit at his home outside Phoenix, Ariz. After Vittorio dies, his Mafia-connected relatives are surprised and dismayed to learn that he left his considerable assets to Martini. Unbeknownst to them, Vittorio recently facilitated the sale of a pair of churches to a business buying up church real estate and flipping it, while also running a money-laundering scheme for a Mexican cartel. According to the mob goons and cartel assassins who won’t leave Martini alone, Vittorio stole from them, and they aim to collect. Amusing complications arise after Martini, who has taken a chastity vow, meets an attractive female cult leader, who claims aliens are impregnating women while they sleep. Fans of Donald Westlake’s action-packed, screwball crime fiction will hope Martini will be back for an encore. Agent: Richard Curtis, Richard Curtis Assoc. (Aug.)
Reviewed on : 06/10/2021
Release date: 08/01/2021
Genre: Mystery/Thriller
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