Tag Archive | Italy

The Piranhas by Roberto Saviano–Review-3 stars #NetGalley

The Piranhas::.jpg 850.jpgThe Piranhas Coming 9/4/18



The Piranhas takes place during the twenty-first century in Naples, Italy.

Nicholas has always been fascinated by the organized crime world. His idea of success was to be the head of an organized group. His father wanted him to go to America or England to attend an esteemed school. But, Nicolas, later known as, Maraja, was content in Naples. The gang world was his life. The only thing Nicholas hated, was reporting to someone. His goal was to have his own paranza. 

The Piranhas is a distressing story about teenagers growing up in the organized crime world. The leaders of the crime families were like royalty. The boys idolized them. Witnessing brutal killings, drug deals, and generalized lawlessness was part of their life. 

I had a difficult time getting through this novel. There are a lot of characters in this book. Trying to remember the characters, crime families, and Italian phrases sprinkled throughout the novel was overwhelming. The story, although interesting, is quite disturbing.  

Thank you,  Farrar, Straus, and Giroux Publishing, and NetGalley, for my advanced review copy.

~3 out of 5 stars~


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The Italian Party by Christina Lynch–#Review

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Christina Lynch’s Debut Novel, The Italian Party, Coming 3/20/18


It was the 1950s and, Michael and Scottie Messina were traveling to Italy. They were newlyweds and excited to be setting up a residence in Siena. They were, however, practically strangers. Both Michael and Scottie held their reasons for wanting to marry quickly, from each other.

Michael did not want Scottie to know that he worked for the CIA. Their move to Italy was part of his first mission for them. His assignment was to use whatever means necessary to foil the current communist mayor’s plan to be re-elected. The CIA preferred their agents to be married. So Michael married Scottie as soon as he could. Scottie had her own reasons for desiring a hasty marriage. First of all, she didn’t want to bring a child into the world, without having a father. Second, she wanted Michael to think that the baby was his. Neither of them knew of the other’s betrayal. Michael had other things that he was hiding from Scottie; things that he felt deeply ashamed of. Scottie, in time, would build up her own chunk of guilty secrets that would weigh her down.

Michael hated that he was constantly lying to Scottie. He worked long hours and knew that his excuses sounded lame to her. Michael wished that he had confided in Scottie about his CIA involvement before they had married. But, he didn’t know her well enough then. His employment as a salesman for American made tractors was a flimsy cover. As his work hours became more erratic and long, Scottie knew that Michael was deceiving her. She began to seek comfort for her loneliness, and as a result, had a few secrets of her own.

The Italian Party is a captivating story. I think, however, that I would have enjoyed it more if there was less talk of politics in it. But all in all, I found the book an enjoyable and entertaining read.

Thank you, St. Martin’s Press and NetGalley, for my advanced review copy.

~3.5 out of 5 stars~Review by Peg Glover

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Bio (from Author’s page on Amazon)

Christina Lynch’s picaresque journey includes chapters in Chicago and at Harvard, where she was an editor on the Harvard Lampoon. She was the Milan correspondent for W magazine and Women’s Wear Daily, and disappeared for four years in Tuscany. In L.A. she was on the writing staff of Unhappily Ever After; Encore, Encore; The Dead Zone and Wildfire. She now lives in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada. She is the co-author of two novels under the pen name Magnus Flyte. She teaches at College of the Sequoias. The Italian Party is her debut novel.
Author photo by Stacy Brand.