THE iREAD REVIEW
Anthony Provati has the smoldering good looks and wandering eye of a man luckier than he is—now all he needs to do is uncover ISIL’s plot, recover priceless paintings, and convince the Red Mafia not to murder him.
He’s really done it this time. Playing the baby grand in the corner of a seedy neighborhood bar in Manhattan, Provati catches the eye of Sophia, the sensual girlfriend of famed Russian mobster Gorgon Malakhov. The trouble starts there, and Provati’s efforts to disentangle himself from the gangster’s black list will force him to begin touring the underbelly of a global crime ring. When it’s discovered that Malakhov may be selling strontium-90, material used in building dirty bombs, Provati finds himself twisted up in an escapade that will take him from hot pursuit to chilled fear, and from Malta to Istanbul, Alexandria to Naples and beyond, where every step will bring him closer to Malakhov’s potential buyers: ISIL.
Giordano’s writing wraps readers in a web of love and lust, gun fights and murder. Painting various storylines with a skillful brush and adroitly bringing them together, Giordano makes his readers care deeply, carefully coloring in the background for why his characters behave the way they do, making them unapologetically human and deliciously multi-faceted. Providing a deeper, intelligent look into the relationship between religions and cultures that at first glance seem at odds, Appointment with ISIL dips into current affairs while adding a dollop of old-world charm.
A sexy, all-in-one-breath read, this is a story for those eager to strap on their boots and immerse themselves in a whirlwind adventure that will take them from espresso in New York with the Italian Mafia to walking the Old City of Jerusalem with the chief of Israel’s security service.
THE iREAD REVIEW
In Annechino's gripping biographical novel, a young army recruit fights to survive on the battlefield and on the run behind enemy lines in war-ravaged Italy.
In 1942, 18-year-old Angelo DiMarco enlists in the military partly out of patriotism and partly to provoke emotion from his distant father. After distinguishing himself at training camp, he is disappointed to be assigned a non-combat commission in England. Determined to see action, he petitions for a transfer and is ultimately assigned to the 1st Ranger Battalion stationed in Italy, under German invasion as the two countries’ alliance crumbles. After sustaining heavy losses, the overmatched Rangers are forced to surrender, and survivors are boarded on trains bound for German work camps. Determined to avoid this fate, Angelo plans his escape with three fellow Rangers.
Much of the story’s tension and suspense derive from skillful plotting. The novel opens in February 1944 on the German prison train, then travels back to 1942, when Angelo enlists, and follows his experiences chronologically to meet the fateful decision on the train, roughly midway through the book. The second half builds suspense around Angelo’s predicament as an escaped American soldier in enemy-occupied territory. The precariousness of his relationships with locals and the uncertainty of whom to trust evoke W. Stanley Moss’ Ill Met By Moonlight.
Annechino’s poetic descriptions of Italy’s beautiful landscape and architecture play counterpoint to unflinching depictions of devastation and gore. The juxtapositions, reminiscent of Hemingway’s A Farewell to Arms, subtly and effectively signify Angelo’s emotional transformation from naive recruit to battle-scarred soldier fighting not only for his physical survival but also to sustain his capacity for empathy both for his “brothers” and enemy soldiers. While the bonds that develop among Rangers are compelling and powerful, they don’t romanticize the steep cost of war. Instead, they become another means through which Angelo meditates on what it means to be a man.
Nuanced and eloquently written, More Than a Soldier adds to the body of WWII literature an extraordinary story of survival and a deeply affecting portrait of a soldier’s coming-of-age.