Burning Down, written by Venero Armanno, is set in the 1970’s and focuses on Charlie Smoke, an old school old time boxer who got caught up in fixed matches and the underworld of boxing. Charlie has made every effort to get out of this world and live a quiet life. Then he meets Holly and her son Ricky, who need some love and attention. Charlie also has a daughter, who is involved with an underbelly family. The stories all bring Charlie back into the life he left behind.
Burning Down is like a fabulous, old school mafia/underbelly/boxing book with lots of gore and violence, family love and loyalty, old Italiano, nice guy stuff. I loved it – quick moving, straight to the point, much like Charlie, and a common story of cheating, scamming and gambling revolving around families who just want their kids to be secure and happy.
The characters are gorgeous – Charlie is loving and kind, his daughter suspicious but yearning for love, Holly and her son waiting for a break and an Italian family trying to cover up the truth of their debt and anger. All are well enough developed to be able to feel their emotions and characters, but not overdone. I hope this is made into a movie – it’s just waiting to happen.