The Inglorious Arts

Alan Hruska. Prospect Park, $16 trade paper (336p) ISBN 978-1-945551-40-6
Set in 1973, Hruska’s lively follow-up to 2015’s Pardon the Ravens amps up the previous book’s mix of legal and Mafia shenanigans. Four years after the death of his wife, Carrie, New York lawyer Alec Brno, who’s raising a 15-year-old adopted stepdaughter, Sarah, gets dragged into an unwinnable case involving utility price-fixing. At the same time, Carrie’s sister, Jesse, is visiting New York, and the physical similarity to his late love is tough for Alec to ignore. On top of this, relatives of Sarah’s biological father, whom Alec killed years before, want to ensure that the fortune Sarah has inherited comes back into the crime family. They decide to try to lure her into a romance with high school senior Tino Angiapello, a mob boss’s athletic nephew. With that many balls in the air, the novel could go off the rails, but the fast pacing and frequent threats, legal and otherwise, keep it on course. Hruska relies on the sort of ludicrous and borderline soap opera plotting that might not stand up to hard scrutiny, but that also doesn’t ask for any such scrutiny from its readers. (Feb.)
Reviewed on: 12/24/2018
Release date: 02/01/2019
Genre: Fiction
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