The Winter of Frankie Machine

winteroffrankieThe Winter of Frankie Machine
by Don Winslow
2006 / 320 pages
read by Dennis Boutsikaris 9h 12m
rating B / crime

Why would anyone want Frank Machianno,  a bait-shop owner in San Diego,  dead?   He’s a nice guy – runs a complex bunch of small businesses,  is good to his ex-wife and daughter,  great to his girlfriend.

But he hasn’t always been what he is now-  his past includes having been a surf-bum and hit man,  two usually unrelated occupations,  but now the past has come knocking.  It seems Frankie still owes a favor – somewhere.    Okay,  so he goes to the meeting to help Mouse Junior, the son of the Boss,   but it turns out to be a set-up because what’s really going down is that someone apparently wants Frankie dead.   But he survives the ambush, trashes his gun and tries to figure out who … amongst the many, many wise-guys with grievances against him –  the list of possibilities 30 years long and full of all sorts of interesting characters,  casino owners and high-rollers,  street thugs, Detroit and Chicago mobsters,  politicians,  punks, strippers,  cops, …

This is a fun listen – a bit over-the-top with the violence but with a very likable protagonist.  Good light stuff between more serious fiction.  It’s the second book by Don Winslow I’ve read,  the first was A Cool Breeze on the Underground (rating B+)  and I was going to make sure to read another back then – why did it take me so long?

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