The author of The Death and Life of Bobby Z. and The Power of the Dog now gives us a fierce and funny new novel--and a blistering new take on the Mafia story.
Frank Machianno is a late-middle-aged ex-surf bum who runs a bait shack on the San Diego waterfront when he's not juggling any of his other three part-time jobs or trying to get a quick set in on his longboard. He's a stand-up businessman, a devoted father to his daughter, and a beloved fixture in the community.
Elmore Leonard fans who have not yet discovered Winslow (The Power of the Dog) will be delighted by his fourth thriller with its sympathetic antihero. Frank Machianno, a retired mob hit man known as Frankie Machine as a tribute to his efficiency, has put his past behind him and is living a tranquil life in San Diego running a bait shop and supplying restaurants with linens and seafood. When the son of a local mob boss asks for his backup in resolving a dispute with the Detroit mob, Frank agrees, only to find that he's been set up as the intended victim of a hit. Using his survival skills and street smarts, the executioner follows a trail of bodies to identify which of his past crimes has caught up with him. While the plot is familiar, Winslow has created plausible characters and taut scenes of suspense that will keep readers turning pages. Author tour. (Oct.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information. -- PUBLISHERS WEEKLY.
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September 25, 2006
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Excerpt from The Winter of Frankie Machine by Don Winslow
It's a lot of work being me.
Is what Frank Machianno thinks when the alarm goes off at 3:45 in the morning. He rolls right out of the rack and feels the cold wooden floor on his feet.
It is a lot of work being him.
Frank pads across the wooden floor, which he personally sanded and varnished, and gets into the shower. It only takes him a minute to shower, which is one reason that he keeps his silver hair cut short.
"So it doesn't take long to wash it" is what he tells Donna when she complains about it.
It takes him thirty seconds to dry off; then he wraps the towel around his waist--of which there's a little more these days than he'd like--shaves, and brushes his teeth. His route to the kitchen takes him through his living room, where he picks up a remote, hits a button, and speakers start to blast "Che gelida manina." One of the nice things about living alone--maybe the only good thing about living alone, Frank thinks--is that you can play opera at 4:00 a.m. and not bother anyone. And the house is solid, with thick walls like they used to build in the old days, so Frank's early morning arias don't disturb the neighbors, either.