On the losing side of a bloody East Coast crime war, Danny Ryan is now on the run. The Mafia, the cops, the FBI all want him dead or in prison. With his little boy, his elderly father and the tattered remnants of his loyal crew of soldiers, he makes the classic American migration to California to start a new life. But the Feds track him down and want Danny to do them a favor that could make him a fortune or kill him. And when Hollywood starts shooting a film based on his former life, Danny demands a piece of the action and begins to rebuild his criminal empire. Then he falls in love with a beautiful movie star who has a dark past of her own.
If the story reminds readers of Homer’s The Iliad and Virgil’s Aeneid, in which jealousy over a beauty named Helen sparked a war between the Greeks and the Trojans, it should. Winslow peppers his yarn with allusions and quotes from the epic Greek poems, casting Ryan in the role of a modern-day warrior at odds with his fate ... Winslow has earned a reputation as one of the finest crime novelists writing in English.
The story is well crafted but for a deus ex machina ending, and even that is enough of a shocker that readers may not mind. Along the way are a couple of eye-popping twists. And there are some great lines ... The story has no more violence than many other crime thrillers, but a sense of hopelessness progressively builds.