The subtitle “Who is trying to kill the boss of bosses“ clues you into its thriller plot and the gangster hat on the cover points you to its Canadian crime family subject. The authors J. E. Mathieson and A. A. Guest describe their riveting, well written and thoroughly researched novel as a “docu-novel” (fictionalization of real incidents) and “pure escapism.”
But, like the hidden subtleties in the dramatic pageantry of the 16th century Italian music and dance from which it gets its name, this PASSAMEZZO is much more than the stereotypical “Godfather” thriller glorifying gratuitous violence, petty revenge, and twisted egos.
– It is a rich generational saga of the Falcone family that tells of a father’s artistry savaged by poverty and petty ruthlessness; a son’s intelligence and compassion subverted by revenge and power; and a grandson’s love crushed by corruption and the need for justice and redemption.
– It is a compelling story of survival amid Toronto’s immigrant ghetto and the brutal corruption during a period of Canadian (and U.S.) history when worker rights and human rights were virtually unknown and rampant racial discrimination and fears lead to the use of eugenics (forced sterilization) and immigrant interment during WWI and WWII.
– It is a gripping political thriller about the rise of crime families and the use of labor unions and violence to fight against the corruption, tyranny, and brutality of the “Inglese.” And how the extortion of union “fees” and labor fueled the power of crime families and their growth into business and government.
– It is a brutal cautionary tale, that we see echoed in the rise of financial institutions, mega corporations and the military industrial complex, of what happens when we allow money, greed, and corruption to be the basis of
our society and when we empower our fears to point where the rights, livelihoods and even lives of others become merely the most expendable part of our economy and the cost of doing business.
To whom would I recommend this?
To those who love crime action and all things Mafia, you will relish PASSAMEZZO for its dramatic entertainment. To those who love history, law and order, or come from poor, immigrant laborer stock (mine were Italian quarrymen of the same era as the Falcones, but who successfully escaped via education), you will savor PASSAMEZZO for its rich perspective and insights. To those who are movie gods, you would be wise to share PASSAMEZZO in all its depth and complexity on the big screen.
“Bravo!” to J. E. Mathieson and A. A. Guest. And, as I hold out my ever hungry Kindle, “More, please!”