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Review: The Morelli Thing

The Morelli Thing by Frank Lentricchia
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This book gave me a bracing glimpse of the Mafia-ruled towns in New Jersey. Frank Lentricchia is an academic and writer of English criticism, and as a novelist his style is understated but competent: like good underwear, you're not aware of it!

The story contains a host of characters on both sides of the law, including a hired killer with high-fashion-model looks and a "moral" vendetta to kill people who've killed people she cares for. And there's a fascinating piece of mob history, based on actual characters and events from the 1940s.

This was an entertaining read that raised some thorny moral questions -- and made me empathize with the owners of a small-time illegal gambling joint!