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The Winter of Frankie Machine (Vintage Crime/Black Lizard) Paperback – September 4, 2007
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From Publishers Weekly
Elmore Leonard fans who have not yet discovered Winslow (The Power of the Dog) will be delighted by his fourth thriller with its sympathetic antihero. Frank Machianno, a retired mob hit man known as Frankie Machine as a tribute to his efficiency, has put his past behind him and is living a tranquil life in San Diego running a bait shop and supplying restaurants with linens and seafood. When the son of a local mob boss asks for his backup in resolving a dispute with the Detroit mob, Frank agrees, only to find that he's been set up as the intended victim of a hit. Using his survival skills and street smarts, the executioner follows a trail of bodies to identify which of his past crimes has caught up with him. While the plot is familiar, Winslow has created plausible characters and taut scenes of suspense that will keep readers turning pages. Author tour. (Oct.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Digital edition.
Frank Machianno thought he had quit the Mob for good. The 62-year-old Vietnam vet has settled into a quiet life in his native San Diego: operating a bait shack on Ocean Beach Pier, running three other local businesses (all on the up-and-up), and catching a set of waves every chance he gets. But Frank's sharpshooting skills are legendary (he wasn't called "The Machine" for nothing), and when the head of the Los Angeles syndicate calls in a favor, he finds himself back in the game. Turns out Frank was set up, but it's too late to change course; he's already neck-deep in the world of the thick-necked. Winslow, a longtime private investigator, is no stranger to society's underbelly; his past thrillers-- including The Death and Life of Bobby Z (1997) and The Power of the Dog (2005)--vividly evoke the worlds of drugs, dirty politics, and organized crime. Although Winslow visits well-traveled Mafia terrain, his writing has a crisp, cinematic quality that refreshes the subject matter and will appeal to fans of Elmore Leonard (without alienating the Mario Puzo camp). No surprise that film rights have been sold to Robert De Niro; the actor, who earned an Oscar for his performance in The Godfather: Part II, is set to produce and star. Allison Block
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to the Digital edition.
Top customer reviews
The Winter of Frankie Machine, by Don Winslow
I lived in the San Diego area so I'm a sucker for the novels of T. Jefferson Parker (who, thankfully, is one of our more wonderful crime fiction writers). Don Winslow paddles out into the same surf. This one is a peach.
One of my book-review rules is not to give away any of the plot -- at least not any of the plot that doesn't appear in the first few pages. This baby doesn't really get rolling until some ways into it, but you know, you just know, something is about to pop. When the cover of the book displays a sinking boat and the name "Frankie Machine," and your main character Frank Macchiano is a pillar of the Pacific Beach recreational fishing community and a meticulous businessman, the pleasant rhythms of his daily routine are unlikely to continue. And when it starts to pop, it doesn't stop popping until the final page.
A lot of that popping comes from .38 caliber instruments.
This book reminded me just a little of Lee Child's Jack Reacher novels, featuring a hero -- such as he is -- who never seems to be at a loss for the right thing to do. Oh, he runs into a spot of trouble here and there, but Frank always seems to have an appropriately violent solution.
Let's put it this way: When I was reading this, I thought DeNiro should play this guy in a movie, and whaddya know? It's in development with the man himself.
One more thing: This novel moves easily through the Cosa Nostra underworld of Southern California. Almost every major character is recognizable as a thinly-disguised real-life thug to those who have done much reading in Mafia history. You will find Jimmy "the Weasel" Frattianno, Frank "Bomp" Bompensiero, Jack Dragna, Allen Dorfman, Allen Glick, Herbert "Fat Herbie" Blitzstein, and several others, all committing crimes looking very much like the crimes of their real-life doppelgangers.
Lotsa killing of bad men. Highly satisfying. Could not put it down.