Set in 1986, this impressive series launch from Edgar finalist Winslow (the Cartel trilogy) focuses on the follies, vendettas, and private ambitions of warring mobsters in Providence, R.I. Well-connected, rival mob families have managed to coexist in the city in relative harmony for decades, with aging racketeer John Murphy and his Irish clan controlling the docks in the upper southside, known as Dogtown, and Pasco Ferri’s Italian circle on Federal Hill ruling the trucking industry. Murphy’s son-in-law, conscientious Danny Ryan, whose father once controlled the Irish syndicate, frequently does jobs for the powerful Moretti brothers, Peter and Paulie. But when Danny’s arrogant, troublemaker brother, Liam, drunkenly molests Paulie’s new girlfriend, it tears the fabric of their association, triggering a vicious lasting feud that wrecks the balance of power irrevocably. With Pasco’s retirement imminent, the provocation is the perfect excuse for the Morettis to beat Liam almost to death and initiate a power grab that forces peacekeeper Danny into a desperate battle to protect those he loves. Winslow’s epic slow-burner, full of richly layered characters and tender personal struggles, bubbles to an intricate, exciting climax. Crime fiction fans will eagerly await the sequel.
Agent: Shane Salerno, Story Factory. (Sept.)
“A master of thrills shows his range, and his bite . . . [Winslow is] a writer from whom others can learn the ropes.” —
Janet Maslin, New York TImes on Broken
“Winslow, whose work includes a dozen of the finest crime novels written in the last 20 years, displays all of his strengths, including propulsive narration, compelling characters and a tight, staccato writing style, in
Broken, a collection of six remarkable novellas.” — Bruce De Silva, Associated Press
"With the passing of Elmore Leonard a few years back, it’s now safe to proclaim Winslow America’s greatest living crime writer. His consistency is matched only by his creativity, his talent exceeded by his ability to surpass himself time and time again." —
Jon Land, Providence Journal on Broken
“This is an outstanding sextet in which— praise be! — ‘love and loyalty trump the law.’ It is fast, furious, and very funny.” —
The Times [London] on Broken
“Exhibiting a remarkable range, [Winslow is] just as good at sprints as long distances, is as adept at mimicking screwball capers as mobster movies, and can charm as well as chill. . . . A dazzling display of versatility, this set of novellas shows Winslow to be an author who has hit his prime.” —
The Sunday Times [UK] on Broken
"Winslow is our Dickens of modern crime. I can’t think of anyone better at what he does."
"The crime fiction canon has no shortage of memorable mob sagas by such masters as Puzo, Ellroy, and Lehane.
City on Fire, with its large cast of memorable characters and low-key allusions to classical literature, maintains Mr. Winslow’s well-earned place in these ranks."
Gritty, moody, and totally immersive,
City on Fire is the first installment in an epic new series that is sure to grip readers from the start. This is Winslow at his very best.
"Epic, ambitious, majestic,
City on Fire is The Godfather for our generation.'
"Don Winslow can hold his own with the best of crime fiction's elite: Mario Puzo, George Higgins, Elmore Leonard. He's a bard of the bad guys and
City on Fire is his most relentless book yet. You gotta have it."
"Superb. This is storytelling with a keen edge.
City on Fire is exhilarating to read."
Pure genius! Nobody can bring such grit and such heart to crime fiction as Don Winslow—and with such a unique and compelling stylistic voice. This sprawling novel, populated with breathtakingly real characters, will grip you from the first page and never loosen its hold, and that remains true long after you’ve turned the last page. And what a delight that this is the first of a trilogy. Can hardly wait for the others!
A masterwork of mob fiction. . . .
City on Fire does for Rhode Island what David Chase’s The Sopranos did for New Jersey. . . . It’s Winslow’s ways with character, as well as his fluid narrative and highly visual scene-setting, that suggest this novel, the first in a planned trilogy, could well end up in the American-mob canon along with the works of Puzo, Scorsese and Chase.
"With the passing of Elmore Leonard a few years back, it’s now safe to proclaim Winslow America’s greatest living crime writer. His consistency is matched only by his creativity, his talent exceeded by his ability to surpass himself time and time again."
Winslow, whose work includes a dozen of the finest crime novels written in the last 20 years, displays all of his strengths, including propulsive narration, compelling characters and a tight, staccato writing style, in
Broken, a collection of six remarkable novellas.”
This is an outstanding sextet in which— praise be! — ‘love and loyalty trump the law.’ It is fast, furious, and very funny.”
The Times [London] on Broken
A master of thrills shows his range, and his bite . . . [Winslow is] a writer from whom others can learn the ropes.
Exhibiting a remarkable range, [Winslow is] just as good at sprints as long distances, is as adept at mimicking screwball capers as mobster movies, and can charm as well as chill. . . . A dazzling display of versatility, this set of novellas shows Winslow to be an author who has hit his prime.”
The Sunday Times [UK] on Broken
"City on Fire is the best gangster novel since The Godfather."
This completely immersive opening act signals a trilogy in the offing that will possess all the power of Winslow's celebrated Cartel novels.”
Booklist (starred review)
Winslow ("Cartel Trilogy") hits the ground running in this stunning first installment of a planned trilogy about the conflict between two mob families who control New England in the late 1980s and early 1990s. The Murphy and Moretti families have been at odds for years, but now a beautiful young woman named Pam comes between them. She gets involved with one of the Morettis and sets off events that soon evolve into a full-scale mob war and implicate hard-working young longshoreman and family man Danny Ryan, who provides part-time muscle for the Irish crime syndicate headed by John Murphy. When Danny is injured in a botched hit job, he will have to decide whether to step up and lead the crime family or be destroyed in a war that threatens him, his family, and his beloved hometown of Providence.
VERDICT Echoing Homer's epic Iliad, Winslow delivers a fast-paced, intense, and brooding story. It's perfect for readers of William Boyle, James Lee Burke, and Dennis Lehane. —Bill Anderson
A blistering novel filled with anger and bite.
Danny Ryan is a dockworker in Providence, Rhode Island, who’s “faithful like a dog” to his wife, Terri, of the rival Murphy clan, and sometimes does some less-than-legal errands for his father-in-law, John. He wants more out of his life and wants to “not owe nobody nothing,” but nobody ever leaves Dogtown. One day at the beach, he sees “the goddess who came out of the sea” and who “has a voice like sex.” Terri's brother Liam Murphy accidentally-on-purpose touches the woman’s breast, which sets off a chain reaction of events in which bullets fly and f-bombs and their ilk swarm like cicadas on nearly every page. You know, you just don’t touch a made guy’s woman, and the goddess is going out with Paulie Moretti. The Providence press gleefully reports the other-side-of-the-tracks bloodletting among men who supplement their wages with hijacking trucks and boosting heroin. So Danny wants out with his wife and son, but—well, it’s complicated. Chances are they’ll have to live and die in Dogtown. And, oh yeah, Danny loathes his rich mother, who tries so hard to make amends for abandoning him. The characters are as vividly described as some of them are vile: One guy “never met a job he couldn’t lose.” John Murphy is “the king of an empire that died a long time ago. The light of a long-dead star.” At the ocean, Danny observes that the “whitecaps look like the beards of sad old men.” A Murphy declares, “That Ryan blood….It’s cursed.” But the Murphy blood isn’t exactly touched by angels either. And then there are the Morettis, all of them trapped in a cycle of crime and violence, just looking for an excuse to go to war. One difference between Danny and some of the others is he’s never killed anybody. Yet. Meanwhile, a planned heist might just solve some financial problems for whomever survives all the betrayals.
Plenty of pain for the characters, plenty of thrills for the reader.