Dinner at Tony Napoli’s | Critical Book Review

Warren Maxwell delves into the indie crime novel “Dinner at Tony Napoli’s” by Edward Izzi, describing it as an elegiac narrative infused with hardboiled humor. The novel explores the intricate dynamics between criminals, their families, and the haunting echoes of the past.

Unearthing Mafia Secrets

The plot centers around Antonio ‘Tony Napoli’ Sorrentino, the 87-year-old legendary owner of Tony Napoli’s Ristorante, whose Mafia connections come back to haunt him when a demolition crew discovers four bodies buried in his restaurant’s basement. Jailed for the first time, Napoli confesses his decades-long involvement in criminal activities to his nephew, Detective Dennis Romanowski.

Walking the Fine Line

The novel navigates Napoli’s dual life as a respected businessman and a simulated gangster, showcasing his ability to maintain a delicate balance within the Chicago mob. Izzi skillfully weaves a tale that explores the blurred boundaries between legitimacy and criminality.

A Morbid Tale of Mafia Ethics

“Dinner at Tony Napoli’s” unfolds within the murky realm of Mafia ethics, portraying themes of crime, vengeance, and unwavering family loyalty. The book masterfully builds its narrative around actions occurring off the page, creating a sense of morbid inevitability.

A Tapestry of Heinous Acts

Edward Izzi, a prodigious storyteller, intertwines Romanowski’s impressions of his uncle with the present, revealing a rich tapestry of mafia lore. The novel features gripping stories, ranging from mediating between a mafia boss and a corrupt police captain to moments of hypocrisy and valor in unexpected places.

Pacing Quandaries and Narrative Density

While the novel successfully crafts a dense tapestry of stories, some pacing issues and repetitions diminish the impact of its most compelling narrative lines. The plot thickens with threats from a cruel mob boss, but the abundance of less essential plot lines overwhelms this compelling strand, causing some stories to blend together and stretch believability.

A Novel of Memory

Despite its shortcomings, “Dinner at Tony Napoli’s” is a poignant exploration of memory. Edward Izzi skillfully renders the fears, joys, and regrets of an old man who has led a checkered life. The narrative captures Detective Romanowski’s delicate balancing act between the law and family loyalty, revealing the infectious logic of criminality.

Publisher, Genre, Print Length, and ISBN

PublisherGenrePrint LengthISBN
IndieBookViewMystery, Thriller & Suspense / Crime337 pages9798399010281

Warren Maxwell delves into the indie crime novel “Dinner at Tony Napoli’s” by Edward Izzi, describing it as an elegiac narrative infused with hardboiled humor. The novel explores the intricate dynamics between criminals, their families, and the haunting echoes of the past. Unearthing Mafia Secrets The plot centers around Antonio ‘Tony Napoli’ Sorrentino, the 87-year-old…