by Sandra Murphy
Details on how to win a copy of this book at the end of the review.
Sal Caetano is a mobster in one of the New Jersey crime families. He’s not just any mobster, but consigliere to Vince Napolito. That puts him in the number three spot, right behind Richie, who anybody can tell you, doesn’t see the big picture.
Sal’s life changes, hard to say for better or worse, when two things happen—his granddaughter, Veronica, is born and he hears dire warnings about global warming on the news. He makes his decision—for the sake of his granddaughter (and other people on the planet), Sal’s going green.
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A green mobster is not a popular mobster, unless he can show ways for the family to make money off the deal, so Sal has to improvise to see how the others feel about his ideas. And who’s in charge of making things right anyway?
Sal’s son-in-law is a smart guy (as opposed to a wise guy) so Sal starts there. He’s introduced to a professor who teaches him (and the reader) about what’s green, where to start to change things and why. One of the things is to go to the legislator in charge of environmental hearings. Well, nobody gets into the hearings without an invitation and they don’t hand those out like candy.
Sal, unlike Richie, has always been about the big picture and planning ahead. He comes up with a way to meet the lawmaker and figures that should fix things. To his surprise, he finds elected officials are as bad, if not worse than, his own people—show me the money.
Of course, there are the nut jobs to consider. Some of them think the only way to change things is to blow up what you have and start fresh. Saving the planet with explosions doesn’t make sense to Sal.
In the end, it always comes down to this—if you want something done right, you just have to do it yourself. Sal’s just the guy to do it.
The story includes much more than just Sal’s journey to greenness of course. Vince, may he rest in peace, dies and there’s a power struggle to see who takes over the family, Richie or Sal. Richie’s a loose cannon, Sal’s been on this save the planet kick, so whatya gonna do? The Jersey police have a mole in the organization, RayRay. He’s the dimmest of the bunch but can follow directions, kind of.
There are a lot of characters to follow since everybody has a second in command, the FBI is there, the cops, the folks supposedly in charge of greening the planet, the nut jobs, the other crime families, the computer geek, assorted girlfriends and family (real family, not crime family) too.
Lopresti provides information about going green and the reader is educated along with Sal. There’s never so much at a time to constitute the dreaded information dump. Sal is a delight as he figures out ways around what most would consider insurmountable objects. The dialogue and action are fast paced. There is bad language—they are mobsters after all—and some killings (well, a few but nothing gruesome).
One person can change the course of the world and in this case, it’s Baby Veronica. I’m just jealous I didn’t think of the idea for this book first—“green” with jealousy.
To enter to win a copy of Greenfellas, simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line “Greenfellas,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen November 14, 2015. U.S. residents only. If entering via email please include your mailing address.
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