Toughs

Ed Falco. Unbridled, $17.95 trade paper (432p) ISBN 978-1-60953-111-9
For this hard-hitting crime novel, Falco (The Family Corleone) draws on historical events involving Vince "Mad Dog" Coll, an Irish-American gangster who gained notoriety for, among other things, the accidental killing of a five-year old boy during a shoot-out in New York City in 1931. Set amid the poverty and despair of the Great Depression, Falco's unapologetically brutal narrative adeptly captures the dichotomy of the times—from the ruthlessness of life in the Bronx to the glittering revues of the Cotton Club—by chronicling the desperate lives of Coll and those around him, namely Loretto Jones, who met Coll at an orphanage when they were children and followed him into the world of organized crime. But as Coll rises to infamy and starts bloody conflicts with mobsters like Owen Madden and Lucky Luciano, Jones tries to leave the lifestyle and begin a new life with girlfriend Gina only to be pulled back time and time again. The story line takes a while to get up to speed, but patient readers will be rewarded with a satisfying albeit predictable conclusion. (Aug.)
Reviewed on: 08/04/2014
Release date: 08/01/2014
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