The book jacket reads: "...Based on a screenplay by Mario Puzo, award-winning author Ed Falco's thrilling,all-new prequel to The Godfather continues the saga of the Corleone family..."
For those of us that have not gotten enough of the family Corleone in either literature nor film, this prequel will be a satisfying read. The story's set between the years of 1933-1935. Don Corleone's eldest son, Sonny, is a seventeen-year-old stud. He is the ringleader of a mixture of Irish and Italian cronies who augment their meager weekly paychecks by ripping-off the most powerful gangster in New York City...Giuseppe Mariposa. Sonny is not the sharpest blade in the silverware drawer, but he is savy enough to know that his identity as "boss' must never be discovered by Mariposa or more importantly, his father. So Sonny's gang steals from one mobster and sells these goods to another...Luca Brasi.
We learn that Luca is the most feared "hitter" in all of NYC. He is not a soldier in any of the families because he's his own boss and swears he'll never answer to anyone. He takes pleasure knowing that he can do almost anything he wants at anytime. He also knows that somewhere down the road he will be held accountable, but Luca does not fear God, the reaper, or any mortal man.
Readers get the back-stories of Sonny's siblings: Orphan-college-boy Tom Hagen, slight and sickly Fredo, bookworm Michael, and the little princess, Connie. The Don is a successful olive oil importer, but the favorite target of Mariposa's mistrust. There is the subplot that details the hate amongst the Irish and Italians and mobsters and how this festers into tragedy and extreme sadness.
Ed Falco has written four previous, independent novels. Hopefully he will find enough success in this prequel to continue the Corleone saga.