Salvatore “Kid Sally” Palumbo wants to rise in Papa Baccala's Mafia family, but his incompetence holds him back. His face is scarred from a bungled arson attempt that ended in an explosion. He is successful only in low-level muscle and murder when directed by more skilled members of the mob. He is finally given one last assignment – to run a bike race, on which the organization expects to make a fortune. The race is aborted at the last minute through his incompetent planning.
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The race brings Mario Trantino, a local bike-race champion and sometime artist in Calabria, to the United States to participate. While in New York, he meets and falls in love with Sally's sister, Angela. Angela helps Mario stay in the country after the collapse of the race and encourages him in his new career – counterfeiting art works.
Sally, now in disgrace with Baccala because of his failure, decides to try to take over the organization. Every attempt to murder Baccala or any of his gang ends in a disaster. When they kill one of Baccala's top lieutenants and dump his body off the Verrazano Bridge, it lands on a barge and alerts the police – and the wealthy shipper who owns the barge – to the ongoing gang war. When he steals a carton of .32 caliber bullets manufactured for automatics, along with some .32 revolvers, he sets the stage for his greatest folly – an attempt on Baccala's life. With Baccala at point-blank range, Sally's gun misfires because of the ammunition mixup.
And so it goes – the gang never does learn to shoot straight, and the gang war ends with Sally's defeat.
The review of this Book prepared by David Gordon