Monday, February 12, 2018

Book Review: 'CROW' by Ashleigh Zavarelli

Ashleigh Zavarelli knows the arena of gangsters and corrupt cops and that special gift for capturing the atmosphere and flavor of Boston – especially the Irish immigrant sector and she knows how to weave all of this into a novel that grabs you and doesn’t let go. What a wild ride – just the kind of mixture of crime and gangs and erotica that keeps the lights on at night, refusing to let you out of her grasp until you have finished her novel.
Ashleigh understands character development and in her two primary characters - Mackenzie Wilder and Lachlan Crow – she pits them in an approach/avoidance situation that makes the eventual consummation of their individual lusts peak like few other authors are able to do.

Her own synopsis is excellent: ‘An Irish mobster. A missing friend. Two loyalties, ripping me apart. Mackenzie Wilder had a plan. Get in, get my information, and get out. Easy, right? Turns out, infiltrating the Irish mafia isn’t exactly what I thought it would be. I just wanted a soldier. Someone I could flirt with to get me in the door. That’s when Lachlan Crow noticed me. Problem was, he wasn’t a soldier. No, he was next in line for the throne of the Irish underworld. And he was determined to hate me from the outset. My sob story about needing a job? Yeah, he wasn’t buying that either. Too bad for him, I won’t let anyone get in the way of my mission. Who cares if we have some kind of crazy chemistry? He’s the worst kind of wrong- and I would never in a million years be with a guy like him. Because they took her from me, and I’m going to make them pay.’

But summaries are just that and like enjoying a fine glass of wine the pleasure of Ashleigh’s writing comes from the sipping. ‘It was the same story with my dad. Forget that he was brutally murdered. He deserved it because he was a nobody boxer fighting in the underground. He associated with bad people, and therefore he got his just penance. That’s how the cops deal with things in this city. That’s how they dealt with my father’s death and the thirteen-year-old kid he left behind.’ With a primer like that to open a story we have to know more, and the ride is a wild one with ample asides for some of the hottest erotica written.

Ashleigh Zavarelli should turn this book over to producers’ eyes, because there is a very fine film waiting to be made from this Boston Irish tale. Grady Harp, April 16

Editor's note: This review has been published with the permission of Grady Harp. Like what you read? Subscribe to the SFRB's free daily email notice so you can be up-to-date on our latest articles. Scroll up this page to the sign-up field on your right.