Friday, November 28, 2014

Catching UP: HEADSTONE CITY by Tom Piccirilli

Headstone CityFrom the back of the book:
The night Johnny Danetello drove a dying girl through the streets of Brooklyn in his cab, he was trying to save her life. Instead he ran down a cop and lost her and his freedom. Every day in prison, Johnny knew that Angie Monticelli’s family blamed him for her death, and that going home would be suicide. But Johnny has unfinished business with his former friend turned mob boss, Vinny Monticelli.

Now Johnny has returned to converse with the doomed and the dead–and wait for Vinny to make his move. Survivors of a long-ago freak accident, the two men share access to alternate realities no one else can know–and to a past and present that will all become the same in a city only one of them can leave alive.

My Review:
I really liked this book yet am conflicted by the genre mash-up. Part crime/mob book, part horror/supernatural author Tom Piccirilli bleeds life and death over the pages of HEADSTONE CITY to formulate an interesting culmination of the two that just doesn't quite feel right.

I like subtle horror and an element of urban fantasy but I like that distinction to be well advanced and recognisable, not as a side bar to the main event. The supernatural elements felt a little like that here. Which isn't to say that they weren't good - the side plot to avenge a teen who had an OD was interesting and entertaining enough, but it would've worked better had that and elements like it been the main drive. 

The 'man-out-of-prison' aspect is equally good but again, fails from having the reader being distracted by the ghostly apparitions and other worldly events that take place.

This review sounds negative, however, it should be noted that I DID enjoy the book. I just feel it would've been better served had the author focused on one or the other and then let the plot dictate the turn of events. 

All in all, this is a good solid read which offers something for fans of genre mash-ups and those who like the steady evolution of a good mob book. 

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