Sunday, September 29, 2013

Catching up on crime: MAFIYA by Charlie Stella

18593458Charlie Stella is one of my favourite authors, a big call considering I've only read one of his books (prior to MAFIYA) - JOHNNY PORNO multiple times. MAFIYA is the sixth book (2008) published by Charlie Stella and follows other books of a similar theme sitting in my TBR.

There's just something about the gangster underworld of mutli national mobsters duking it out in the densely populated U.S.A that suck me in time and time again. MAFIYA is no different.

Here Charlie Stella goes more Angel Dare (protagonist of CHOKE HOLD, MONEY SHOT by Christa Faust) than Sorpano with the mobsters largely on the peripheral as a reformed prostitute turns vigilante on a quest to take down the Russian mobsters responsible for her friends murder.

Rachel Wilson is a single mother putting her kids through school and food on the table the only way she knows how - hooking. Agnes Lynn, her best friend, is temping as a lackey to a sleaze lawyer having given up the life. Now in their thirties, the two women find themselves as different ends of the social spectrum.

When Rachel tells Agnes of a big money play she's about to make, Agnes tries to talk her out of it. Even with sparse details, the job screams danger, yet Rachel is a veteran of the street and evades Agnes pleas to give up the life. It's the last conversation the friends have.

What follows is a deadly game of turf wars and mob assassinations as a snuff film brings down more than the victim with tensions between the Italians and Russians running red hot. Complicating matters is Agnes, out for answers and revenge, her boyfriend and former cop Jake, a wealthy Saudi weapons dealer, and a corrupt cop with retirement to the good life in his sights.

MAFIYA has been on my radar for a while now (since its publication actually) and I cant pin point why this one slipped through the cracks until 2013. It was so entertaining and engrossing I read it pretty much in a single sitting. The characters leaped off the page, the plot kept ticking away at a frenetic pace, and the action rivaled a Hollywood blockbuster. SHAKEDOWN is sitting on my kindle and looms as a likely read in the near future.

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