The Return [ePub]

by Roland Merullo

Part novel of suspense, part family drama, THE RETURN follows six characters originally introduced in Roland Merullo's bestselling novel REVERE BEACH BOULEVARD.

KIRKUS MAGAZINE praised BOULEVARD in a starred review saying, "although it’s about family, gambling, gangsters, sin, and redemption, Merullo’s smart book resists all the clichés of ethnic melodrama . . . this study in secrets and lies in no way romanticizes either its working-class Italians or the goodfellas who prey upon their addictions. Merullo, with a tip of his hat to Dostoyevsky, probes the psyche of the gambler but avoids any neat explanations for — the animal of addiction. The conflict of loyalties here (church, blood, class) also accounts for much inner turmoil among the primary characters, each drawn with sensitivity and intelligence. If Coppola or Scorsese ever repent for their glamorization of the underworld, this is the perfect novel to bring to the big screen: the ordinary people of Merullo’s realist fiction, no easy saints themselves, testify to the true meaning of familial love."

These lives have been sewn together by love, addiction, and deceit.

Peter Imbesalacqua is living in Montana in the witness protection program. A former gambling addict, he went deep in debt to a mob figure in his hometown of Revere,Massachusetts, bravely wore a wire at their last meeting, then had to flee. Now he’s happily married, with an adopted son, but he longs for his hometown, and especially misses his aging father.

Vito Imbesalacqua, Peter’s dad, lives alone in the family home, visited occasionally by his daughter and illegitimate son, Alfonse, and tormented by the mistakes he’s made and the way they damaged his family.

Joanie Imbesalacqua is obsessed with finding the mobster her brother Peter sent into hiding. She believes — correctly, as it turns out — that this evil man will one day return to Revere to seek revenge on her family. Locally famous, secretly gay, Joanie is torn between ambition and family, fury and love.

Alfonse Romano is a local police captain, son of Vito, engaged to a woman who fled the Cambodian Holocaust and worried about Joanie, Vito, and Peter. Dutiful, kind, the ultimate straight-arrow, he came of age not knowing the identity of his true father and he and Vito are now rebuilding their relationship.

Eddie Crevine was once a mafia captain. When Peter tape-recorded his threats he was forced to leave Revere with his wife, Alicia, and — like Peter — live in hiding under a false name. Vicious, racist, utterly self-centered, Eddie is haunted by what he sees as Peter’s betrayal of the codes of their hometown.

Thousands of miles apart, very different men, Peter and Eddie both decide to return to Revere at the same time, drawing all of the characters into a vortex of violence and grace.



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