Saturday, April 11, 2009

Finished several days ago: "Mafiya" by Charlie Stella

Finished several days ago: Mafiya by Charlie Stella, 2008, 9781933648651.

Good stuff.  Stella is always writing long political diatribes against Reps and Dems and outsourcing on Rhoades's blog.  Stella also gets great reviews for his crime fiction.  This is his most recent novel and I figured to give it a shot.

Whatsherface (I left the book at work) is a former Las Vegas hooker who, after running into and killing a rapist-murderer, got out of the life.  She temps in Manhattan as a word-prcessor, often getting assigned to different law firms to proof legal briefs.  Her best friend is a single mom who still hooks.  Whatsherface's best friend is kidnapped, raped, and murdered for a snuff film.  

Best Friend was killed by a Russian mafia (mafiya) goon in Brooklyn who is a major fuck-up and thorn in the side of his Mob Boss step-brother.  When Mob Boss finds out what his fuck-up step-brother has done - made a snuff film - he sets out to clean up the mess before the whole world of mobsters, feds, cops, and public crashes down on him for an unforgiveable sin.  Mob Boss starts killing everyone involved with the film while also working with the Italian mob in a deal for the Russians to take over Coney Island. 

Since Whatsherface has been calling Best Friend ever since she disappeared, Whatsherface gets on Mob Boss's shit list.  Whatsherface has to evade the Mafiya, try and keep Would-Be-Boyfriend out of it, and get revenge for the murder of her friend.  Mostly told in a tight 48 hour period with fill-in about Whatsherface's and Would-Be-Boyfriend's pasts.  

Whatsherface is happy to be out of hooking and does not like being touched by men.  A flirtatious, dickheaded lawyer accidentally touching her hair gets viciously told off.  Would-Be-Boyfrined burned out on police work but uses his experience and guile to help Whatsherface out.  

Well done by Stella.  Whatsherface is put in a really scary and believable  situation against sociopathic scum.  The story leaves me wanting to read more about the characters; especially the investigating NYPD detectives.  

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