“A splendid piece of crime fiction . . . a fitting cap to a tremendous career . . . Through it all, Puzo keeps the heat on and keeps the reader enthralled with his characters and his story.”—The Denver Post
To Don Raymonde Aprile’s children, he was a loyal family member, their father’s adopted “nephew.” To the FBI he was a man who would rather ride his horses than do Mob business. No one knew why Aprile, the last great American don, had adopted Astorre Viola many years before in Sicily; no one suspected how he had carefully trained him . . . and how, while the don’s children claimed respectable careers in America, Astorre Viola waited for his time to come.
That time has arrived. The don is dead, his murder one bloody act in a drama of ambition and deceit—from the deadly compromises made by an FBI agent to the greed of two crooked NYPD detectives and the frightening plans of a South American Mob kingpin. In a collision of enemies and lovers, betrayers and loyal soldiers, Astorre Viola will claim his destiny. Because after all these years, this moment is in his blood. . . .
“In Omerta (the Sicilian code for silence), Puzo sements his reputation as a page-turning storyteller.”—Detroit Free Press
“More tasty twists than a plate of fusilli . . . Cunning entanglements with an FBI gangbuster, crooked cops and strong women sauce up this deft and passionate last novel by the Balzac of the Mafia.”—Time
"The dead have no friends," says one gangster to another in Puzo's final novel, as they plot to kill America's top Mafioso. But Puzo, despite his death last year at age 78, should gain many new friends for this operatic thriller, his most absorbing since The Sicilian. The slain mobster is the elderly Don Raymonde Aprile. His heirs, around whom the violent, vastly emotional narrative swirls, are his three children and one nephew. It's the nephew, Astorre Viola, who inherits the Don's legacy and transforms before his cousins' astonished eyes from a foppish playboy into a Man of Honor, as he avenges the Don's death and protects his family from those hungry for its prime possession: banks that will earn legitimate billions in the years ahead. Astorre's change is no surprise to the few aged mobsters who know that, as a youth, he was trained to be a Qualified Man, or to the fewer still who knowDas Astorre does notDthat his real father was a great Sicilian Mafioso. Arrayed against Astorre in his pursuit of cruel justice are some of the sharpest Puzo characters ever, among them a corrupt and beautiful black New York policewoman; assassin twins; wiseguys galore, including a drug lord who seeks his own nuclear weapon; and, drawn in impressive shades of gray, a veteran FBI agent who imperils his family and his soul to destroy Astorre. Despite its familiar subject matter, the novelDwhich shuttles among Sicily, England and AmericaDis unpredictable and bracing, but its greatest strength is Puzo's voice, ripe with age and wisdom, as attentive to the scent of lemons and oranges in a Sicilian garden as to a good man's sudden, bloody death. This is pulp raised to art and a worthy memorial to the author, who one last time makes readers an offer they can't refuse. 500,000 first printing; simultaneous Random House audio and large print editions; to be a film from Miramax.
Great book, but leaves a little to be desired
This book was great, don't get me wrong. It was easy to pick up and hard to let down. Puzo does a great job of cinematically telling a story. This book could have easily been turned into a movie. The characters are all introduced in a way which give you the feeling of future importance to the story. Very seldom are characters introduced and not tied into the final chapters. Puzo seems to be a master at creating character sub-plots. My only problem with the book was the feeling of a rushed ending. All the sub-plots were built so elegantly, I was hoping for a longer and more detailed conclusion to the story. I felt that there were many holes in the final chapters and important details left out. To me, it felt like a writer experiencing summit fever in the literary sense. Puzo was so close to the finish line and perhaps just wanted to get it all over with. The lack of dialogue in the climax was one of the reasons I feel this way. Admittedly, this is my first read by Puzo, so maybe I am not one to judge. This could just be his method of writing a story's climax. I'm being picky however. This was a great book with great characters and I would highly recommend it to anyone, no matter what taste in genre.
Not up to his standatds