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“Paradise City ”

written by Harriet Klausner on 21/07/2004

Paradise City
Lorenzo Carcaterra
Ballantine, Sept 2004, $24.95, 336 pp.
ISBN 0345410971

At fifteen, Giancarlo Lo Manto attended his father's funeral, knowing that the men who killed him acted on the orders of the head of the Camorra, the Neapolitan version of the Mafia. A few years after his father's death, his mother moved the family back to Naples where Lo Manto became one of the best police officers in Italy. He waged a one-man war against the Camorra, making a dent in their operations on both sides of the Atlantic causing them to place a price on his head.

The head of the New York family, Joe Rossi, kidnaps Lo Manto's niece in order to lure the Naples police officer onto his turf. He is determined that Lo Manto will be killed just as Giancarlo is sure that he will be the one to take Rossi down. Even after uncle and niece are reunited, Lo Manto stays in New York doing everything in his power to find a way to get Rossi to act openly so he can be put in a cage. What he doesn't count on are his feelings for his partner Jennifer Fabini who cares enough about him to risk her life so that he has a chance to survive the inevitable meeting with Rossi and his men.

Both the protagonist and the antagonist are mirror images of each other as Rossi could have made a great police officer and Lo Manto could have been a fine Don. The way they were brought up determined what side of the law they walked on. PARADISE CITY is a fantastic crime thriller, filled with plenty of action, a touch of romance and great character development.

Harriet Klausner

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