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Comment: A CLEAN ex library issue hardback with usual marks has dust jacket with light imperfection from mylar. Text and pages remain in clean, rather good reading condition. The spine is fully intact. Usual shelf wear.
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The Wolves of Fairmount Park Hardcover – June 22, 2010

4 out of 5 stars 13 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. Dennis Lehane fans will welcome Tafoya's second crime novel, which delivers on the promise of his debut, Dope Thief. A drive-by shooting in front of a Philadelphia dope house claims two victims, Michael Donovan and George Parkman Jr., and leads to an intense search for the gunman. Both fathers--Brendan Donovan, a cop whose son was wounded, and George Parkman Sr., whose son died--can't help wondering if the incident was somehow connected with Brendan's younger half-brother, Orlando, a ne'er-do-well drug addict. Tafoya skillfully shifts among the perspectives of the two grieving fathers, Orlando, and Danny Martinez, the primary investigator on the case. The bleak worldview Brendan articulates ("Nobody knew anybody. Nobody knew the first goddamn thing about their wives or their husbands or their kids or their friends") will resonate with classic noir readers, who will hope Tafoya is their guide through the mean streets for years to come.
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From Booklist

Two middle-class teenagers are victims of a drive-by shooting as they stand in front of a Philadelphia house where drugs are sold. One dies, the other is left in a coma. That straightforward premise compels this gritty, insightful crime novel. What were the teens doing there? Buying drugs? Who ordered the shooting? Why? What does it mean for the endlessly roiling competition among the city's drug dealers? An unlikely handful of people want answers to those questions: a rising young detective with contacts in the drug world; the boys' fathers, one a Philly beat cop, the other a well-to-do businessman; and one boy's uncle, a junkie. The path to the truth is circuitous and bloody and leads all over the city. Tafoya's characters, whether cops, killers, or victims, are multidimensional, and his portrait of the city's drug trade is bleakly realistic. Tafoya's Dope Thief (2009) was a fine debut. This much more ambitious follow-up cements his position as an up-and-coming hard-boiled writer. --Thomas Gaughan
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Minotaur Books; First Edition edition (June 22, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312531168
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312531164
  • Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 1.2 x 8.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,950,821 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By William Bentrim VINE VOICE on June 28, 2010
Format: Hardcover
The Wolves Of Fairmount Park by Dennis Tafoya

This book chronicles the events that surround a drive by shooting that traumatizes two families and where collateral damages purges a portion of the Philadelphia drug scene.

Dennis Tafoya writes a complicated mystery. You may figure out the who but the why may escape you. He maintains your interest by providing in depth characterizations. Be prepared for some un-likeable characters. Cop cultural clashes with junkie culture and family values. Chris Black, muscle for hire, was both one of the saddest and yet eventually redeemable personalities in the book.

The insular nature of a chunk of urban society was well illustrated by Tafoya. It may be a little hard to believe unless you have urban friends. Years and years ago we took a Philadelphia friend to a Bucks County Inn for dinner. The terrific dinner didn't hold a candle to his reaction to being so far out in the country. The lack of street lights, street signs and stop lights was only surpassed by his amazement that there were real cows just standing around in fields.

This author did an excellent job capturing the dismaying aspects of both the drug culture and the insular urban despair. The moving frustration of cops, overwhelmed by insurmountable problems, was movingly poignant.

I recommend the book.
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By A Customer on June 23, 2010
Format: Hardcover
In Philadelphia, a drive-by shooting at a dope house leads two teens rushed to an emergency room; one dies while the other is critically injured. The fathers of the victims are psychologically wounded too. Police Officer Brendan Donovan whose son Michael was severely wounded and local entrepreneur George Parkman Sr. whose son Jr. died in the incident wonder why.

Both dads believe that Brendan's half-brother, Michael's Uncle Orlando a drug addict was the cause of the attack. PPD detectives Danny Martinez and Asa Carmody investigate the shooting that seems increasingly to affirm the theory of the fathers that Orlando was the motive for the deadly drive-by.

This is a gloom and doom deep look at the aftermath of a tragic event as seen mostly through the rotating viewpoints amongst the four males not physically hurt by the incident; though other perspectives by family members, girlfriends and the female detective enhance the dark urban Noir. The fathers are the most fascinating as the cop prays for God to save his beloved son while the tycoon who ignored his offspring when he was alive insists on vengeance. Fans who appreciate a realistic walk on the wild side of the streets will want to read The Wolves of Fairmount Park.

Harriet Klausner
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
A drive by shooting fronting a drug house in Philadelphia leaves a pair of teenage boys, one the son of police officer Brendan Donovan, fighting for life. The Philadelphia PD, anxious to strike a quick arrest, pins the crime on a rival drug gang - "problem solved - let's move on". But detective Danny Martinez isn't so sure, and challenging convention wisdom, he bucks the system in pursuit of the real bad guys. Meanwhile, Donovan's half-brother Orlando, a strung out druggie, hopes he'll find some measure of redemption in his own investigation of his nephew's assault.

Make no mistake about it - Dennis Tafoya can write. I was drawn to "The Wolves of Fairmount Park" by favorable comparisons to Dennis Lehane. Indeed, Tafoya's gritty Philadelphia streets and decaying row houses are up to par with Lehane's South Boston haunts. And Tafoya's characters are meticulously drawn, the atmosphere is suitably dark, the dialog is credible, the situation credible. So what's not to like? "The Wolves of Fairmount Park" is a classic study in the importance of storytelling. Despite a well-drawn cast, a setting told with authority, and an author who clearly knows of what he writes, the story is simply not engaging. Yes, there were great characters, but none central - none that the reader is really made to care about. And there were simply too many of them vying for that vaunted role of "protagonist." Add to that an uneven pace, thrilling and suspenseful in bursts followed by long stretches of tedium and minutia. So in the final analysis, there was little mystery and less suspense in the climax - why does the reader really care which gang banger is ultimately fingered for the crime, while there is only slightly more interest in the "why?
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I couldn't put this book down. This is well-layered story with compliacted characters and a very dark context. Reminds me a lot of Richard Price's Lush Life. Definitely recommeneded. Just buy it, read it, and enjoy it.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Funny....I have had Dope Thief by Dennis Tafoya sitting in the "to read" pile for a while but just never got around to it....I sure am glad I picked up this on my Kindle recently. Great read. The characters definitely ring true! Reminded me of "The Wire." That's a big compliment because that show was awesome. Having read this I can now say that I will redouble my efforts to get to Dope Thief and have added Tafoya to my list of must read authors! Having already recommended this to friends and relatives I now do the same to everyone here. Highly recommend!
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