Thursday, May 8, 2008

Close- Martina Cole

Martina Cole
Grand Central, Jul 2008, $24.99
ISBN 9780446179966

In 1960s swinging mod London bodacious Patrick Brodie takes control of the East End in-clubs where he peddles high class hookers and sells illegal alcohol. He quickly becomes a man to respect or else regret. Patrick marries factory worker, Lily Diamond. They have several children together over four decades, but it is she who runs the home through tough love while he runs his criminal empire through violence. Their motto is only trust family warily.

The Sopranos and Godfather connections are obvious though Anglicized. This is a deep look into an English crime family over a span of decades and the area of their control. The story line engages the audience from the moment that Patrick establishes his BHAG (Big Hairy Audacious Goal) to take over the East End scene and never slows down over the next forty years as he and his family fight to maintain their lofty position. Filled with violence that add realism, fans of the Sopranos will appreciate the equivalent across the big pond.

Harriet Klausner