Twelve Round Beat Down

11257455Casino Moon by Peter Blauner
My Rating: 4/5 Stars

If the boxing world even remotely mimics what Peter Blauner describes with intense detail in the pages of CASINO MOON—a world filled with intimidation and manipulation, where the main objective becomes the knockout, completely immobilizing your opponent both inside and outside the ring, where a cutting board with several large knives serves as the negotiation table, where greed is the only concept that brings men together in the name of a twelve round beat down—then I’m glad I’m a lover, not a fighter. It’s this world filled with ornate detail, where the good guys are bad and the bad guys are even worse that the reader finds himself engrossed in from the opening bell. A world where women go panty-free, fucking the hero on the rails of the boardwalk, where killing is just another word expunged between breaths and guns are touted around with as much precision as metal lunchboxes. It’s a world I’m unfamiliar with, and yet I was immediately intrigued by it.

This world has no beginning and no end: it lives on with its own life force. And yet I felt as though I had a brief glimpse into it between the pages, savoring every moment of exploding flesh, hard rights, and intense uppercuts. While I certainly understood the needs and desires of Anthony Russo and his ploy to go legitimate, or at least break himself away from his mob ties, most of my sympathies rested with Rosemary. She’s as tough as any male character that haunts the pages of this novel, and without her, this book might have been a shell of itself. This proves an ongoing point that many good and great authors recognize: strong males need strong females. It’s a codependent relationship, and this hard-case crime novel is better for it.

If you’re into interesting reads where you get a glimpse of the street life, along with the high life, and you’re not afraid to get your hands dirty, then you might want to check out this book. I know I’m glad I did.

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