Carcaterra comes up with a unique novel, quite out of the ordinary. It sets up a war between worldwide organized crime and terrorists.
Vincent Marelli, known as the Wolf, is the leader of a huge crime family who in spite of his best plans to protect his family sees his wife and two girls killed. Besides himself with the loss he decides to exact a terrible vengeance on the people he feels killed them.
Marelli places the blame on terrorists, and selects one active band to start his campaign on. His way is to convince other crime families around the world to help him, indicating that besides exacting his revenge, these people are in the business of murder for murder’s sake and infringing upon organized crime’s territories.
Vincent finds that his closest ally is run by a former love of his that has taken over her father’s gang in Italy. In the course of the action they move close together and except for the fact that neither really trusts the other, move towards their goal.
Leaders of both the terrorists and the members of the crime families are very well fleshed out and the reader comes to understand why they do what they do, and what motivates them besides the huge amounts of money they make. Vincent and Angela, his ex-love, move close to a reconciliation which may occur if another novel with them involved is written. The descriptions of the terrorists and the crime family draws a similarity to the Godfather and the sympathy the reader attains with them. Well done and very absorbing.
8/14 Paul Lane
THE WOLF by Lorenzo Carcaterra. Ballantine Books (July 29, 2014). ISBN 978-0345483942. 320p.