Mira, May 2004, 12.95, 304 pp.
The violent Irish gang the Westies has ruled in Manhattan's Hell's Kitchen for decades. The three O'Neil siblings were raised by an unstable mother who finally killed herself and a father notorious for being THE ROOFER, throwing his enemies off the roof of the tenement buildings. Two of their dad's cronies helped with caring for the trio. Carol escaped into marriage pretending that her family was not her own. Tom, a cop, remains mentally unsteady. Ava is the core of the next generation, loyal to a fault.
Reporter Jack Casey does a story on their father that brings Hollywood interested in doing a gangster bio. When their dad dies, a murder from the “good old days” resurfaces, threatening Ava and Tom. Meanwhile Ava finds herself between the two worlds of Los Angeles make believe and New York grim reality. She and actor Vince Quinn, who has the role of her father, begin to fall in love, but Tom needs his Ava to survive so she expects nothing permanent to come of this fling plus that homicide still lingers.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner