by Sukey HowardFebruary, 2001
Love of "The Life"Angelo Vestieri is a gangster's gangster, wealthy, powerful, an enemy to be feared, a true friend to true friends, an astute businessman, a stone-cold killer who lived "the life" through and through, a solitary man who rarely loved but, when he did, loved forever. As Vestieri, now an old man and survivor of bullets, betrayal and brutal gangland wars, lies dying in a New York hospital, the only two remaining people who loved him meet at his bedside and share his story and then their own. Gangster is that story, crafted with his best-selling knack for character and gritty authenticity by Lorenzo Carcaterra and read with his star-quality knack for characterization and narrative timing by Joe Mantegna. Vestieri and his cohorts have the same strange romantic appeal of many of Mario Puzo's memorable Mafiosi tough guys with a tough sense of loyalty and a ferocity that fascinates.