by Steven SilverSeptember, 2000
Two characters live by a code of honor in Mario Puzo's Omerta one is a young Mafia Don, just coming into his own, the other is a seasoned FBI agent who has made Mafia-busting his life's work. They meet head-on in this last installment of Puzo's celebrated Mafia trilogy. Raised in New York and Sicily, Astorre Viola takes over his uncle's operation when the elderly Don is gunned down, but finds himself surrounded by men who no longer play by the time-honored rules, dealing big time with megalomaniac South American drug lords, and selling out their brethren to the Feds. Kurt Cilke, wholeheartedly committed to the Bureau, finds his superiors care more about politics than they do about wiping out organized crime. Puzo can really tell a story, chock-a-block with wild, larger-than-life characters, and weave a world out of words, a world where old fashioned Mafiosi, blood-stained though they are, seem bigger, braver, bolder, and more noble than anyone on the other side. Michael Imperioli, who appeared in Good Fellas and The Sopranos, reads with the right voice, inflection, and delivery in Omerta (Random House AudioBooks, unabridged, $39.95, ISBN 0375415726; abridged, $25, ISBN 037541570X).