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Set during the Great Depression and based in part on real characters and a series of historical events, Toughs follows the story of Loretto Jones as he finds his life intertwined with the fate of Vince Coll, a twenty-three-year-old Irish gangster who for a brief moment rose to the level of a national celebrity during his war with Dutch Schultz, Owen Madden, Lucky Luciano, etc. Tagged “Mad Dog Coll” after killing five-year-old Michael Vengelli in a botched assassination attempt, Coll was the subject of a shoot-to-kill order issued by NY City Police Commissioner Edward P. Mulrooney, a $50,000 bounty offered by Dutch Shultz and Owen Madden, and $30,000 in reward money from the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association and the city’s newspapers.

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Toughs

 

 

 

“This hard-hitting crime novel . . . adeptly captures the dichotomy of the times—from the ruthlessness of life in the Bronx to the glittering revues of the Cotton Club.”

 

          --Publishers Weekly

 

“...a blistering pace, well-rounded characters, and moral dilemmas that are never pat….Recommend to fans of The Godfather books, historical fiction, and those who like their novels with a lot of action and a bit more substance.”

            —LJ Xpress

“Toughs is a deftly imagined novel that weaves together real life gangsters and the recorded violence on the streets of New York in 1931 with a cast of rich, compelling characters caught up in the ruthless criminal world. . . . Readers who discovered Falco through The Family Corleone will find Toughs to be a satisfying follow up. Long-time readers of the author will be glad he took his talents deeper into the world of crime noir.”

 

          —South85 Journal

"The action moves from the mean streets of the Bronx to basement speakeasies and the fabled Cotton Club, showing Falco's grip on environments from cold-water tenements to greasy spoons. . . . an intriguing read for crime-fiction fans."           

 

          -- Kirkus Reviews

"A novel with this many bodies could get repetitive and lose its punch after a while. That never happens here, thanks to a blistering pace, well-rounded characters, and moral dilemmas that are never pat. Recommend to fans of historical fiction, and those who like their novels with a lot of action and a bit more substance." 

 

          —Library Journal

 

"Toughs is a fascinating foray into a small segment of Depression-era New York. The atmosphere takes the reader into the speakeasies, homes and streets. The clothes, the music, the language, the smell of foods, it all comes alive and transports readers back.  Falco includes the violence but not the gore. He takes readers far enough visually to engage their own imaginations and lets them do the rest. This is a book that dims the lights around you and allows you to get lost in another time and place, if only for a little while. If you're a fan of gangster stories, great character-driven novels or period pieces, be sure to put Toughs on your reading list." 

 

          -- Jen's Book Thoughts 

 

Ed Falco’s novel Toughs, like his previous work, New York Times bestselling novel, The Family Corleone, captivates and intrigues from the first page, and doesn’t let go.

 

          -- Amazon Review

 

Toughs, Ed Falco’s latest novel, is a knockout, a fast combination that you didn’t see coming until it hits you—first to the stomach and then up to the head—with characters like Loretto, Gina, and, especially Vince Coll, whom Falco makes you care about, even some you know you shouldn’t. Toughs is also proof that “string theory” (that all time exists at the same time) isn’t just theory: Falco, New York Times Best-selling author of The Family Corleone, his previous novel, again puts us in New York City, this time at the start of the Depression—it’s a gritty, hard, and no-nonsense time, as we all know—but when Falco has us walk its streets, climb its dark stairwells, and look out over it rooftops with Loretto and Gina and Coll, we really know that their time is happening right now. The other morning when I was getting ready for work, coming out of my closet with a shirt, I thought I heard my wife say, “The other one—it makes you look best” when I looked back at the bed. I thought, for a second, it was Gina. What more could you ask?

 

           --Amazon Review

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