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{February 11, 2013}   {ARC Review} The Fifth Man by James LePore (Sons and Princes #2)

17214441From Goodreads: National bestselling author James LePore’s searing, intense novel SONS AND PRINCES riveted readers with its epic depiction of a man caught between crime and conscience.

Now LePore returns with a sequel to SONS AND PRINCES. It is eight years later and life has changed overwhelmingly for Chris Massi and his son Matt. Chris now possesses more power than he ever could have imagined. But with power comes considerable, unremitting risk. And when Matt finds himself drawing the attention of the Russian Mafia, the risks become all too immediate and the reaction all too crucial. As the circle widens to include Chris’s daughter and the woman that has surprisingly captured Matt’s heart, Chris must make moves that could make him and his entire family vulnerable.

Rippling with tension, THE FIFTH MAN is a story of strength and consequences, of the price of the past and the perilous path to the future. It is James LePore at the height of his storytelling skills.

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This is a wonderful sequel to Sons and Princes that can also stand alone for the reader who hasn’t year read the prequel.  But seriously, these novels are so wonderful that you need to read them both!  LePore is an exceptional writer, bringing his 25 years of law experience to the forefront as he spins his tales of crime.

LePore does a phenomenal job drawing the reader in from the very beginning, fleshing out the cast of characters as his story seamlessly flows together.  What I’ve always enjoyed about LePore’s writing is his ability to take the reader inside the characters’ heads, jumping from scene to scene, and place to place, without losing the reader along the way.  LePore’s meticulous attention to detail, and his background in law help create a believable crime story that will leave you breathless as the pieces of the puzzle begin to come together.

Whereas Sons and Princes focuses more on Chris Massi and his decisions concerning the family business, The Fifth Man gives more of a focus to his son, Matt, which I loved.  The story itself opens about seven years after the close of Sons and Princes, and I really like that LePore chose to add this time gap to his story.  It allows Chris to become something of a bigwig, while it also gives time for Matt and his sister to grow into adulthood, allowing for more interaction and relation building within the walls of the family business.  Seeing Matt all grown up was really fun, too, and I enjoyed getting to know him, as well as watching him fall in love and interact with his father.  He’s come a long way since we last saw him in Sons and Princes, and I really loved the family dynamics LePore creates as he brings us into the world of the Mafia.

This story is about love, redemption, and how far a father is willing to go to protect his family.  It’s a true gem, and I cannot wait for more in the series.  Four stars.

4 stars

I received a this novel from the author in exchange for an honest review prior to its release on February 12, 2013.

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Andrew T. Kuligowski says:

This is a small thing, but I am glad to see someone who can love a book / series, but still only give ti 4 stars. I reserve 5 stars for “extraordinary” – something that will leave a special something with me that will stick around for awhile. (An emotion, a concept, whatever.) AND is well done.



Glad to know I’m not alone! 5 stars rock my world and leave me upside down. Four stars are STILL loved by me and are still very well done!



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