Author: T.M. Goeglein
Publisher: G.P. Putnam's Sons (a Penguin imprint)
Release Date: July 24, 2012
Number of Pages: 320
Source of Book: ARC from editor after IRA Convention
Jason Bourne meets The Sopranos in this breathtaking adventureCOLD FURY is a non-stop action-packed thrill-ride of a novel with an intelligent heart. I wasn't totally sure what to expect from this mob-based story, but it was more than I anticipated. At it's heart is sixteen-year-old Sara Jane, who knows nothing about The Outfit and what her family really does at the beginning. She is just a private, introverted teenager who happens to have a talent for boxing. As we get to know her through the beginning of the book, we see a girl with some insecurities, but also a really likeable character who is highly intelligent. That is part of the strength of this book. If Sara Jane wasn't so likeable, it wouldn't have the appeal that it does as she finds her own strength. She's also surrounded by a fantastic cast of secondary characters who are entertaining and loveable (sometimes) in their own right. The "Al" chapter is one of my favorites and had me laughing out loud.
Sara Jane Rispoli is a normal sixteen-year-old coping with school and a budding romance--until her parents and brother are kidnapped and she discovers her family is deeply embedded in the Chicago Outfit (aka the mob).
Now on the run from a masked assassin, rogue cops and her turncoat uncle, Sara Jane is chased and attacked at every turn, fighting back with cold fury as she searches for her family. It's a quest that takes her through concealed doors and forgotten speakeasies--a city hiding in plain sight. Though armed with a .45 and 96K in cash, an old tattered notebook might be her best defense--hidden in its pages the secret to "ultimate power." It's why she's being pursued, why her family was taken, and could be the key to saving all of their lives.
Action packed, with fresh, cinematic writing, Cold Fury is a riveting and imaginative adventure readers will devour.
I enjoyed the style in which this book is written. At the beginning, the chapters feel as if each one is a sort of vignette of something that has happened that has led to Sara Jane being the kind of person she has become. Each chapter provides a little bit of background, but is told as it's own little story. The book then really starts to move once Sara Jane's family goes missing and she starts to learn what her family has really been up to all this time. It moves toward more a traditional story arc at this point, but interspersed with entries and learning from "the notebook." This is when the mobster-type of story gets going and as she is running for her life and trying to find a way to save her family, it becomes very hard to put the book down. T.M. Goeglein has created an intriguing version of the Chicago mafia's evolving style and methods that seems well-researched and highly realistic. I found myself really enjoying some of the scenes and ways that Sara Jane uses her Outfit connections to try to put things back in order and find her place and way of keeping herself safe.
I would recommend this book to those looking for a strongly written character, mafia-type story with action-packed writing, and even though it has a female main character, I think it will have guy appeal (and especially those with ties to Chicago). With references to classic movies (especially mafia ones) and secret passages throughout Chicago, this is a book with lots of intelligence and action. Overall I enjoyed reading it; however, the ending felt a little bit abrupt to me because it seemed to leave it wide open for a sequel, which I wasn't expecting. Going into it, I didn't know it was the first in a trilogy-which would have been good to know so the ending wouldn't have left me wanting a little more closure. I'll definitely be getting the next two books to see how Sara Jane works out her balance and control of this world she's fallen into.
*If you don't want to wait until Tuesday to get started, you can read the first chapter for free right here from the author's website!