Starred Review: The Confessions of Al Capone by Loren D. Estleman

“Estleman’s Capone is a complex and multifaceted figure: jovial family man, convivial host, sharp-dressed fashion plate, and pensive retiree contemplating his memories and mortality. Although mentally deteriorating, he is still, on his good days, a canny judge of character who is capable of ruthless retaliation. Verdict A tense and thoughtful historical thriller, recommended for all fans of crime fiction and historical novels.”

Loren D. Estleman’s The Confessions of Al Capone gets a starred review in Library Journal!

Here’s the full review:

 In 1939, Al Capone was released from Alcatraz after serving a seven-and-a-half-year sentence for income tax evasion. Suffering from the effects of syphilis he had contracted as a young man, the former gang boss retired to a palatial beach house near Miami, where he lived with his wife and son until his death in 1947. Into this historical scenario, Estleman, the popular and award-winning author of 70 novels, weaves a gripping fictional tale of a young FBI agent on a perilous mission. Owing to his family connections with the Capone “outfit” and his training at a Catholic seminary, Peter Vasco is seen by FBI director J. Edgar Hoover as an ideal tool with which to infiltrate Capone’s household, masquerading as a priest, and collect information that can be used to investigate Capone’s family and associates. In addition to this difficult mission, Vasco faces the awkward duty of mending his strained relationship with his father, whose link to the Capone gang during Peter’s childhood years remains murky and unexplained, and his own unresolved feelings about his unfinished religious training. Estleman’s Capone is a complex and multifaceted figure: jovial family man, convivial host, sharp-dressed fashion plate, and pensive retiree contemplating his memories and mortality. Although mentally deteriorating, he is still, on his good days, a canny judge of character who is capable of ruthless retaliation.

Verdict A tense and thoughtful historical thriller, recommended for all fans of crime fiction and historical novels. [Previewed in Kristi Chadwick’s “Following the Digital Clues: Mystery Genre Spotlight,” LJ 4/15/13.—Ed.]—Bradley Scott, Corpus Christie, TX

The Confessions of Al Capone was published on June 11th.