An epic novel of gangland intrigue from 'one of crime fiction's new stars' [Sunday Telegraph]
When Catherine Ducane disappears in the heart of New Orleans, the local cops react rapidly - she is the daughter of the Governor of Louisiana after all. But the case gets very strange, very quickly. Her bodyguard turns up horribly mutilated in the trunk of a beautiful vintage car and when her kidnapper calls he doesn't want money: he wants time alone with Ray Hartmann, who works for a Washington-based organised crime task force.
All Ray wants to do is get this over with quickly, and go home to try and repair his broken marriage. Instead he must listen to the mysterious kidnapper, an elderly Cuban named Ernesto Perez, who wants to tell him his life story. It's only when he realises that Ernesto has been a brutal hitman for the Mob since the 1950s that things start to come together. But by the time the pieces fall into place, it's already too late...
The kidnapping of 19-year-old Catherine Ducane, daughter of Louisiana governor Charles Ducane, and the brutal murder of her driver set the stage for this absorbing crime novel from Ellory (A Simple Act of Violence) covering more than 50 years of mob violence and American history. When the FBI agrees to Ernesto Perez's request to bring Ray Hartmann of the New York district attorney's office to New Orleans, Perez turns himself in. Perez promises to reveal Catherine's whereabouts, but first he must tell his life story as a Mafia hit man to Hartmann. Perez recounts a journey that includes his involvement in at least 19 murders and the mob's links to such figures as the Kennedys, Richard Nixon, and Marilyn Monroe. Perez's goal remains a mystery, as does his selection of Hartmann as his audience, up to the end of this brilliantly conceived tale of greed, politics, family loyalties, and vengeance. Only the occasional passage of florid prose spoils the performance.
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Wow, what a truly great book, great story, great characters, very well written, I really did not want this book 2 end!!! Well worth reading.