Review by: Morgan HobbesFelonious Monk, written by William Kotzwinkle, is a touch of Scorsese-esque Goodfellas and Casino rolled up with something like hard-boiled, dark humour. If you're a fan of bodies being dropped at every opportunity, disposed of in interesting ways, including the old favourites mixed in with new-age hippie spiritual nonsense, then this book is for you.
Tommy Martini is or rather was a monk. After accidentally killing someone, he retreated to Mexico to work on his anger management issues and spirituality. Through circumstance, he's drawn back into his old life, one where he's the grandson of a ruthless mafia don and the son of a recently departed family man left with the problems caused by his father.
He has a hard time getting used to life outside the monastery. His father's business associates come looking for missing money, and new-age spiritualists intent on getting their claws into him, somewhat willingly thanks to their femme fatale good looks and irresistible qualities.
The story was gritty and dark, with plenty of dark humour and dry wit along the way. I enjoyed it immensely and am glad to see this billed as "Book 1" of a Tommy Martini series. I'll be grabbing the next ones as they land.
Narration by Chris Henry Coffey was great. Tommy was hard-as-nails with a voice like a gravel truck. The quality was a little disappointing. Background mouse-clicks and the occasional other sounds, plus really poor matching of retakes where it was super obvious re-reads had been spliced in. Disappointing as the narration itself was excellent.
All up, a solid noir gangster thriller, reminding me of old a style like hard-boiled detective narration mixed with a Scorsese level mafia movie. I smashed my way through this in only a couple of sittings.