As a fresh face in the hard-boiled crime fiction sweepstakes, Green (Shooting Dr. Jack) is carving out a niche for himself with his piercing portraits of men trapped by their tainted pasts. Green's new hero, Silvano Iurata, is a Vietnam vet and a Buddhist who has returned to his native Brooklyn. He knows that he should not have come back home, since his mob-connected family has it in for him, but he has to find his brother, Noonie, who has mysteriously disappeared. He haunts the seedy hotels, dark alleys, dives and flophouses of the borough, drifting from one false lead to the next, deciphering double-crosses and dodging bullets, fists and romance. His relatives hold a number of grudges, both real and imagined, against him. Uncle Angelo, a genuine mobster out of central casting, believes Silvano is untrustworthy and spills family secrets. Little Dom, Silvano's cousin, wants him dead for a series of slights going back to their teen years. While Green lacks the clever wordplay of Elmore Leonard or the brooding explosiveness of Joe Connelly and George Pelacanos, he gets off some hilarious bits of dialogue, sudden bursts of manic action and sharp tongue-in-cheek descriptions. The mystery of his brother's disappearance loses some of its urgency, but Silvano's journey is no less gripping. At first glance, he may seem like the usual noir hero at war with himself, but Green taps into something larger with his subtle pronouncements about family curses, bad choices, lost souls, mindless violence and redemption. This sophomore effort cements his place in the upper echelons of neo-noir.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Norman Green reports this about himself: "I have always been careful, as Mark Twain advised, not to let schooling interfere with my education. Too careful, maybe. I have been, at various times, a truck driver, a construction worker, a project engineer, a factory rep, and a plant engineer, but never, until now, a writer." He lives in Emerson, New Jersey, with his wife, and is hard at work on his second novel.