“Two generations and four decades in the lives of Frank, Mary Lou and the rest of the gang
The Heist: After leaving Baltimore Penitentiary, Frank’s get rich quick scheme to rob a bank requires his girlfriend, Mary Lou to sleep with an inside guy and for his gang to stay together long enough to take down the vault. Meanwhile Mary Lou falls for the inside man and can’t decide whether to go with him or Frank. If she chooses the wrong fella she’ll be penniless and wind up dead. How would you choose between a fool and a dreamer?
The Getaway: After ex-con Frank and his girlfriend Mary Lou rob a Baltimore Bank, they must flee across country before the Feds find them and the mob ices them for stealing from an organized crime boss. As they dash to California, trust becomes the most important currency as Frank and Mary Lou grapple to decide whether love is enough to keep them together. And by the time they reach their goal, they must fight to the death to survive hired guns and trained police shooters. If they don’t kill everyone in their way then they will die themselves. Would you risk everything for a sack of greenbacks?
Powder: When Mary Lou takes the proceeds from a bank robbery to start up her heroin dealing business, old enemies circle overhead and threaten the lives of her twins. How will she keep them safe in such a dangerous place and what is she prepared to do to secure her new venture?
Mama’s Gone: When Mary Lou makes some bad decisions, her twins and her husband must decide whether she’s losing her mind. If they can get that cleared up then all they have to worry about is their feud with the Russian mob. And then someone goes and ices the old lady. Who would have the cajones to murder the head of the Lagotti family?”
Happy Friday and welcome to damppebbles. Ryan the guest reviewer here. Emma has let me take over with a review of Leopold Bortstinki’s book as she is looking through all of your lovely R3COMM3N3D2019 suggestions after her post yesterday (she’s also spent a lot of time adding books to her ‘Terrifying TBR’). So whilst I am here, I thought I would share my review of The Heist. Without further ado, here’s what I thought…..
The Heist by Leopold Borstinski is the first book in The Lagotti Family Series Box Set. Now those of you with a keen memory will remember that earlier this year I reviewed Mama’s Gone, the fourth and final book in the series. This blog tour offered me the chance for some reader ‘time travel’ and an opportunity to learn more about Frank and Mary Lou’s back story.
It is almost unfair to call Frank and Mary Lou the main characters as this book revolves around a small number of characters who are working to make Frank’s bank robbery a success. Andrew and Brian represent the hired muscle and Pete, the getaway driver, completes the gang. The story follows the planning of the job and the reader watches as tensions develop, scores are settled and each character works out how to get the best deal for themselves. The deceit, plotting and characterisation in this novel are great as you soon realise that not everyone is going to get their way. And some characters are willing to spill a lot of blood to get a few extra dollars.
Outside the plotting is Mary Lou’s growing relationship with the inside man she is seducing to get information on the bank. As time moves on you start to wonder who’s side she is on; is it Frank’s, Carter’s – the inside man, or just her own! It has to be said there is a lot of carnal activity in this book and if that is something that you don’t enjoy then I would suggest you read something else.
My favourite aspect of this book was the slow burn. The planning isn’t over in a few days, it takes a lot longer. Time for emotions to surface, characters to get hurt, plan their revenge and make whatever alliances are required. In the background is the insidious Frank Snr, a character straight out of the grittiest noir novel, and a gritty noir novel is really what Borstinski has created here. A novel which sets the platform for the rest of the box set.
So if you want strong characters, gritty noir and a sense of foreboding this is a good place to start. The Lagotti Family Series Box Set is going to show you a lot of twists and turns and probably a lot of blood before you put it down. But beware, if you enjoyed this you will be straight into The Getaway – book two of this box set, as some plot lines are deliberately left dangling to entice you onwards. Follow them and watch a mob start from a bank job and develop through to an empire. What are you waiting for?
I chose to read and review a free digital copy of The Heist. The above review is my own unbiased opinion.
The Lagotti Family Series box set was published in the UK by Sobriety Press on 30th June 2019 and is available in paperback and ebook formats (please note, some of the following links are affiliate links which mean I receive a small percentage of the purchase price at no extra cost to you): | amazon.co.uk | Waterstones | Foyles | Book Depository | Goodreads |
Leopold Borstinski is an independent author whose past careers have included financial journalism, business management of financial software companies, consulting and product sales and marketing, as well as teaching.
There is nothing he likes better so he does as much nothing as he possibly can. He has travelled extensively in Europe and the US and has visited Asia on several occasions. Leopold holds a Philosophy degree and tries not to drop it too often.
He lives near London and is married with one wife, one child and no pets.