All it takes is one mistake. For Jimmy Paccini, savvy and cool-headed, it was joining the Brooklyn mob, the easy way out of a nowhere life that for arranging the execution of the head of a rival crime family rewarded him with a quarter-century of hard time. For Milena Cossutta, sexy and smart, it was selling out her dreams to marry a handsome but hot-headed made man, Vinnie DeNunzio, which left her on the run from the feds in Sicily, a stranger in a strange land. And sometimes the mistake is crazy, forbidden love like the one between Jimmy and Milena. Or could it be their salvation? Spanning three decades and two continents, soaked in passion, blood and the garish colors of the mean streets, Lowdown is a vivid, gripping romantic thriller that follows a twisting road strewn with sorrow and desire, deceit and ecstasy, shocking violence and intimate tenderness, to arrive at a surprising, bittersweet redemption.
Let me start by saying that there is some truly brilliant writing in Lowdown. The author certainly knows his prose and draws a reader into the story. However, there are also times when the story is too drawn out and even drags a bit. I wouldn't call this a thriller (as promised in the blurb) of the romantic or any other kind. For me, it feels more like adult fiction or drama. There is a romance and there is plenty of crime, but I just didn't get that edge of your seat feeling that should come with a thriller. I think a large part of that can be attributed to the back and forth of the timeline. According to the blurb, the story spans three decades, which is accurate, but with so much jumping around, it's hard to get a feel for the characters, let alone their world or the actions they take, especially with so many characters and so much elapsed time. From the ratings I've seen, I'm clearly in the minority, so it's quite possible that this one just wasn't for me. Whatever the reason, I was left somewhere in the middle of the road on this one after weighing the positives and negatives of my experience with it.