The Reluctant King: Book 1; The Book of Shadow

K’Wan. Akashic, $15.95 trade paper (240p) ISBN 978-1-63614-014-8
Set in present-day New York City, this derivative crime novel from K’Wan (the Black Lotus series) focuses on the King family, “players in the New York underworld since the 1930s.” The familiar cast includes a violent son, Ghost, groomed to inherit the criminal empire; another son, Shadow, reluctant to get involved in the family business; their sister, Lolli, who wants her potential as a crime boss acknowledged by her father; and a significant character betrayed by a relative and gunned down in a hail of bullets. Current patriarch Chance King, a councilman, is planning a run for Brooklyn borough president, which he hopes will be a stepping-stone toward the mayoralty and, eventually, Washington, D.C. To get elected, Chance must distance himself from his illegal enterprises and designate someone else to keep them running. A predictable struggle for succession follows. Awkward prose (“Christian’s eyes flickered sinisterly as he applied pressure”) and sloppy details (New York City has not had aldermen since 1938) don’t help. Fans of the Godfather saga looking for more of the same may want to have a look. (Sept.)
Reviewed on : 07/02/2021
Release date: 09/01/2021
Genre: Mystery/Thriller
Hardcover - 240 pages - 978-1-63614-015-5
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